2013 April 24: Noxolo Nogwaza’s fading memory

by Lerato Dumse

Exactly two years after her tragic killing, Noxolo Nogwaza‘s family and friends are still searching for answers.

Ekurhuleni Pride Organizing Committee (EPOC) together with Amnesty International hosted a commemoration service on Wednesday, 24th April 2013. The day coincided with the period when she was killed in 2011.  Inkanyiso documented the whole funeral of Nogwaza in 2011 and continued to do so even at the commemoration on Wednesday.

lindiwe _ noxolo's daughter in front of canvas_0073

A little girl in front of the banner is Lindiwe, the late Noxolo Nogwaza’s daughter.
She was only 4 years old when her lesbian mother was brutally murdered in 2011.
Photo by Nqobile Zungu (24.04.2013)

The 24 year old lesbian’s body was found in a ditch in Tsakane, East of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni. Her face crushed with bricks, it was also alleged that her pants were pulled down and she was raped in what is described as a hate crime.

photos taken during Noxolo's commemoration in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni. Johannesburg. (c) Inkanyiso media

photos taken during Noxolo’s commemoration in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni. Johannesburg.
(c) Inkanyiso media

bashin looking at da crowd_9657

Wednesday’s event was a far cry from the attention and support that Noxolo’s story generated from the media and politicians.
Mayor Mondli Gungubele and Premier Nomvula Mokonyane attended separate memorial services in 2011 and made promises not yet fulfilled.
The local Ward councilor known as Ivy also couldn’t come on Wednesday and sent a representative. The Police have never bothered to attend any of the events, even when they were on the programmes as main speakers.

Speaking for EPOC, Media and communication officer Bontle Khalo says they have been to the police station on numerous times. “We have never received positive feedback from police, trying to inquire over the phone is an even bigger nightmare.
We handed over a memorandum to the safety MEC at the Kwa-Thema police station in 2011, there has been no response since” says Khalo. Her experience is no different from that of Dikeledi Sibanda, from the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) who is working on Nokuthula Radebe’s case. In March 2011, Nokuthula, a 20 year old lesbian was killed in a neighboring township (Thokoza) less than a month before Noxolo Nogwaza in 2011.
The sentiments of loss and continuous grief were shared by both families.
They tried to do follow ups hoping for some justice to be done. The memorial was hosted next to where Noxolo’s body was found.

Luyanda Mthembu who attended previous commemoration said it’s sad to see no changes had been done. “The politicians promised to clean this area, erect a tombstone but now they have all disappeared”, concludes Mthembu.
Most of the people I spoke to remember the promise of a tombstone, and nothing about working towards apprehending the culprits.

Balloons and messages of solidarity were written on Wednesday. Khalo admits that as an organization more radical action is needed from EPOC not forgetting organisations who are working on LGBT and human rights issues.

evidence of solidarity

evidence of solidarity

Messages of support written on a hard painted wood

Messages of support written on a hard painted wood

One cannot forget the incident of another lesbian former Banyana Banyana player Eudy Simelane, was killed on the same weekend as Noxolo Nogwaza on the 27th April 2008.
The two murders happened about 5km from each other, under similar circumstances. Asked about the support or assistance given to Nogwaza’s family. Bontle talks about lawyers, who have agreed to work pro bono and the lawyer’s success in preventing the case from being an informal to formal inquest.

As South Africans prepare to celebrate 19 Years of Independence since 1994: Freedom Day on Saturday the 27th April 2013.
The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex (LGBTI) community of Ekurhuleni and allies, is preparing to bury yet another lesbian.
Patricia Mashigo (28 Feb. 1977  to 21 April 2013).
She was callously body murdered in Daveyton, Johannesburg on the 21st April 2013.

This latest incident again raises the question of freedom, and when will the LGBTI community see and enjoy this freedom.

More photos on:
Inkanyiso fb photo gallery
2013 April 24:  Noxolo Nogwaza’s commemoration

Related articles

Brutal murder of a lesbian activist condemned

Previous articles by Lerato featured in Blacklooks and Freegender sites

2011 May 13:  Kwa-Thema Praying for homophobic victims.


2011 May 3:  Black Easters for black lesbian community

On Inkanyiso
2013 April 2: Do good even when faced with difficulties
2013 April 2: He loves us all, just go to church and find God

2013 March 28: Failed justice


2013 March 28: Feather Awards (re)viewed

This entry was posted in Abantu, Amnesty International on Inkanyiso, Community Mobilizing, Connections, Creating awareness, Daveyton, Documentation; Filming; Photography; Community, EPOC on Inkanyiso, Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), Hate Crimes, Inkanyiso crew, Inkanyiso media, Inkanyiso Statistics, Johannesburg, Lerato Dumse, Life Stories, murdered, Records and histories, Relationships, revolution, South Africa's Freedom Day, Victims, Violence, Visual history, Visual history is a Right not a luxury, Women; Voices; Writings; Education; Traditions; Struggles; Cultures and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to 2013 April 24: Noxolo Nogwaza’s fading memory

  1. Pingback: South Africa: Two years have past yet still no justice for Noxolo Nogwaza

  2. Pingback: 2013 April 24: Abantu by Nqobile Zungu | inkanyiso.org

  3. Barbary Clarke says:

    a south african participant at a retirement symposium for denis altman a couple of years ago, here in melbourne australia, was rather astonished to hear that i was keeping a list (unfortunately very long) about the rapes and murders of sth african lesbians. i can assure you that we feel very strongly about this, and share your sense of loss. i gave this list – with some details of the murdered lesbians, to try to turn them into ‘people’, rather than ‘statistics’ – to every australian delegate who was attending the recent un commission on the status of women meeting in new york – since the topic was violence against women. i don’t know if it did any good, but i try to spread the word wherever/whenever i can. in solidarity and sisterhood, barbary

    • Lerato says:

      Its good to know that the are people who have joined us in trying to make noise and create awareness to homophobia. You were definitely spreading the word to the right audience, Aluta Continua!

  4. Pingback: 2013 May 6: Noxolo Nogwaza’s funeral | inkanyiso.org

  5. Pingback: 2013 May 7: Black lesbians on pap test | inkanyiso.org

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  7. Pingback: 2016 May 17: Launching Kwa-Thema Photo XP | inkanyiso.org

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