by Lerato Dumse
A commemoration was held on Wednesday 27 March 2013 in Thokoza township, east of Johannesburg to remember the life of Nokuthula Radebe.
In 2011 March 28 Nokuthula became one of many hate crime victims reported that year only, followed by Noxolo Nogwaza (24) who was murdered in Tsakane, April 2011.
Its been two years since the young lesbian woman from Thokoza in Ekurhuleni was brutally killed, and there is still no progress in bringing the perpetrators to book.
The 28th of March 2011 was a tragic day for the Radebe family. Their 20 year old daughter’s body was found by children playing in an abandoned building in her township. The last time Nokuthula was seen alive was after walking her girlfriend home late at night and leaving her safe. Nokuthula walked back to her home but never reached her destination. Like most lesbian murders in the township, her death was horrific and will never be forgotten. When her mute tortured body was discovered, she had been strangled with her shoelaces, her face covered with a plastic bag and her pants pulled down.
In hosting the event Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW) in collaboration with IHAWU said their initial plan for this year’s commemoration was to draw up a petition to be signed by the community. Requesting the demolition of the abandoned building as Nokuthula’s murder is not the only crime committed there. However that could not be achieved due to the Police’s unwillingness to assist. The small group who attended the event comprised mostly of lesbian women from the respective organizations. Also present were Radebe family, a local Pastor, member of the street committee as well as other locals. All had one voice in expressing their dissatisfaction with the Police conduct towards the case of Nokuthula.
FEW accused the investigating officer (*identity reserved for safety sake) of “not prioritizing the case even when information was given to him to follow up on”.
Project Organizer Dikeledi Sibanda says the last time they went to the Police station to inquire about progress on the case, the officer in charge saw them got in his car and drove away. Mr Radebe believes he will never be able to heal from loosing his daughter, speaking at the commemoration he said “I feel anger, frustration and disappointment with the police on my daughter’s murder, how the justice system has failed me as a parent who is still mourning the loss of my child that I loved”.
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