2013 July 3: Another brutal murder of a lesbian

by Lesego Tlhwale

As the LGBTI community in South Africa on the 1st July 2013, we were woken up by news of the brutal murder of one of our own; Duduzile Zozo, a 26 year old lesbian from Thokoza, East of Johannesburg.

Daily Sun, a local tabloid newspaper reported that, “The 26-year-old’s half-naked body was found in her kasi in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni yesterday morning (30 June 2013).”

The newspaper further stated that, “a toilet brush was rammed into the deceased vagina.”

Captain Godfrey Maditsi who was also interviewed by the paper, confirmed the news and told daily sun that “A murder case has been opened and we ask the community to come forward with any information that could help put those responsible behind bars.”

However, Maditsi said that, “the cops couldn’t confirm whether Duduzile Zozo was raped or not. They could only confirm that a toilet brush was rammed into her vagina as they found it still inside.”

Her mother, Thuziwe Zozo, told the paper that she suspected that her daughter was killed because of her sexuality: “She was a lesbian but never had any problems before. People loved and appreciated her.”

The case of Duduzile Zozo, like many other lesbian cases caught the attention of the media, as most of local and international media ran with the story.

Since reports of the gruesome murder made headlines locally and internationally, we have since seen political parties and other civil society organisations releasing statements condemning the brutal murder of the young lesbian.

COSATU’s Patrick Craven said in a statement, “COSATU is outraged at the continuing high level of violence against women and girls, and demands that no effort be spared to arrest whoever was responsible for this despicable murder, and that the courts impose an exemplary sentence.”

The Democratic Alliance Shadow Deputy Minister of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities (DWYCPD), Helen Lamoela also released a statement expressing The DA’s is shock and sadness by reports of the brutal rape and murder of Duduzile Zozo.

DA stated that, “Government is not doing nearly enough to eradicate the scourge of violence against women and children in South Africa.”

The DA went further on to criticize the progress of the National Council Against Gender-Based Violence based within the DWYCPD formed over six months ago and the silence of the LGBTI National Task Team which was formed two years ago by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Helen Lamoela said, “DA will submit parliamentary questions to the Department of Justice to query the progress of this task team. We will also request that the National Council Against Gender-Based Violence be summoned to Parliament to present progress made on its plans and programmes to curb violence against women and children in South Africa.”

The murder of Duduzile happens just a week after Amnesty International released a report called ‘Making Love a Crime: Criminalisation of Same-sex conduct in Sub Saharan Africa’.

The report highlighting violence, homophobia and laws targeting LGBTI people in Sub Saharan Africa, with particular focus on Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon and South Africa.

Amnesty International reported on the plight of black lesbians in South Africa.

The report stated that, “Taunts, insults and threats are a constant reality and are in fact so common that many LGBTI people do not even recognize them as a form of violence. Sexual assault and other physical attacks against LGBTI people are also all too common. Lesbians, and LGBTI people who do not conform to culturally approved models of femininity and masculinity live in fear of being assaulted, raped and murdered by men”.

Amnesty International over the past few months have partnered with Ekhuruleni Pride Organising Committee (EPOC) an LGBTI organization based in Ekhuruleni, a township which now known to the lesbian community as a hot spot for lesbian rape and murder.

Both organisations have been working together in making sure that the case of Noxolo Nogwaza, a 24 year old lesbian activist who was brutally murdered in Kwa-Thema two years ago, is investigated and perpetrators brought to book.

According to Bontle Khalo of EPOC, “Amnesty International has been campaigning to ensure that Noxolo’s murder is investigated thoroughly and effectively, so that those found to be responsible may be brought to justice.”

Furthermore, Amnesty International has been running a campaign locally and internationally calling for Justice for Noxolo. These campaigns have been running since May 2012, and they have targeted local and provincial police authorities, as well as the Gauteng Premier.

In recent developments of the campaign, Amnesty International has been lobbying for legislation to combat hate crime, legislations that would compel the police to compile statistics of lesbian and gay murders and rapes.

“Hate-crime laws would improve the policing and judicial response to such crimes and help develop effective mechanisms to monitor such crimes”, stated the report.

The case of Noxolo Magwaza that Amnesty International is working on is one of many murder cases that have been under-investigated in Ekhuruleni.

There’s the case of Girly Nkosi who was murdered in 2009, Nokuthula Radebe murdered in 2011, and Patricia Mashigo murdered 2013 and many others which were not reported or are unknown to me.

The aforementioned cases, represent only those murdered in Ekhuruleni alone, South Africa has many more neglected cases of LGBTI people who were murdered for being homosexuals.

The fraction of statistic mentioned shows how little the police authorities are working on making sure that the cases are diligently investigated and perpetrators arrested.

It took the South African Justice System six years and 30 court appearances, for 19 year old Zoliswa Nkonyana’s 2006 murder case to be concluded and her killers sentenced.

The brutal killing of vulnerable LGBTI individuals is extreme, merely releasing a statement condemning the act is not enough; the LGBTI community needs actions, Interventions, and legislations to be put in place in order to combat these barbaric acts.

There is an urgent need for educational programmes and awareness campaigns to address the attitudes and biases that lead to these hateful crimes.

South African townships are no longer safe for lesbians, every day a black lesbian wonders if they are NEXT?.

Previous articles by Lesego

2013 June 20 Inkanyiso Sees The Rainbows with Norwegians


2013 June 5: Lesego sharing the work of Inkanyiso at the LGBT conference in Salzburg, AUSTRIA


2013 May 18: After Mask … Hear Us Out

2013 May 15: SA Task Team representatives fail the LGBTI community


2013 April 28: Bleak freedom for black lesbians in South Africa


2013 April 12: Bros B4 Ho’s at the OIA film festival opening


2013 March 24: Recognition of LGBTI Activist should be a culture


2013 March 16: Dangerous love


2013 Feb. 12: A dildo is not a man; it’s a fantastic toy…


2013 Mar.1: Definitely NOT “Gaysbian”


This entry was posted in Another Approach Is Possible, Archived memories, Art Activism in South Africa, As we are, Before You, Black Lesbians, Black Lesbians & Allies Against Hate Crimes, Community, Community Mobilizing, Creating awareness, Evidence, Homosexuality, Inkanyiso media, Johannesburg, Organizations, Power of the Voice, South Africa, Violence, Visualizing public spaces, We Are You, We Care, We Still Can with/out Resources, Writing is a Right and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to 2013 July 3: Another brutal murder of a lesbian

  1. thenjiwe says:

    “Taunts, insults and threats are a constant reality and are in fact so common that many LGBTI people do not even recognize them as a form of violence. ” Personally, i think this quoted statement is utter BULL SHIT! I don’t know who would take a threat and see it as normal. The attitude of most people is disgusting towards lgbti people, i fail to understand as to how people still live in a box when we as a country have come such a long way, but yet they still behave in such a disgusting manner. May Duduzile Zozo’s soul rest in peace. And her murderers punished for this barbaric act.

  2. inspirator says:

    “Taunts, insults and threats are a constant reality and are in fact so common that many LGBTI people do not even recognize them as a form of violence. ” This is true. The conditioning of the subconscious is ridiculously stupefying. People become conditioned without even knowing it. I do not think thee is malice in that statement.

    I cannot even comprehend this level of evil – I just can’t! It’s just sad, enraging, mindboggling and downright evil. may Duduzile find peace.

  3. Pingback: 2013 June 30: On Amnesty report | inkanyiso.org

  4. Pingback: 2013 July 4: Continuous war on black lesbian bodies | inkanyiso.org

  5. Pingback: 2013 July 5: Continuous war on black lesbian bodies | inkanyiso.org

  6. lindiwe ndwandwe buthelezi says:

    Its sad what these people do to lesbain I really don’t understand. Lesbains don’t hurt any1 they wanna live their lives and be accepted like any other normal person So y r they getting killed for being themselves. I really hurts me, the sad thing is that the ppl who committe these brutal crimes r never found the police r forever invistigating its not fair. This is suppose to be a free nation but I always wonder its free for who? Rip Duduzile uthixo unawe

  7. Pingback: 2013 July 5: Photos taken after Duduzile Zozo memorial | inkanyiso.org

  8. Pingback: 2013 July 5: Photos taken after Duduzile Zozo’s memorial | inkanyiso.org

  9. Betesta says:

    It still hurts that lesbians are still killed in South Africa. It could be an exemplary country in Africa where violation of LGBTI people is less because homosexuality is legal. The other sad thing is the law seem not to take serious this problem that is why it happens more often. If the law can do something with this killers, I guarantee you it will come to an end..In Botswana you become a killer the one get killed too.
    Besides may Dudu’s soul rest in peace.

  10. Pingback: 2013 July 10: When brutally killed, Dudu was stripped every ounce of her dignity | inkanyiso.org

  11. Pingback: 2013 July 10 Duduzile Zozo’s memorial service | inkanyiso.org

  12. Pingback: 2013 July 10: Chaotic memorial service for Duduzile | inkanyiso.org

  13. Pingback: Another brutal murder of a lesbian

  14. Pingback: 2013 July 13: Picturing Duduzile Zozo’s funeral | inkanyiso.org

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  16. Pingback: 2013 July 14: Zozo’s family silenced by ‘mourners’ | inkanyiso.org

  17. Pingback: 2013 July 17: Inkanyiso nominated for the 2013 Visible Award | inkanyiso.org

  18. Pingback: 2013 July 20: Lesbian samaritans reaches out to the Zozo family | inkanyiso.org

  19. Pingback: 2013 July 27: African Lesbians and Trans-it-ion-ing in Belgium | inkanyiso.org

  20. Pingback: 2013 Aug. 6: Invisibility of black lesbians ‘From safe harbours to Equality’ | inkanyiso.org

  21. Pingback: I Will Become a Straight Girl: A discussion on Corrective Rape | isthisAFRICA?

  22. Pingback: 2013 July 30: 30 Days later no arrests yet for Duduzile Zozo’s murder | inkanyiso.org

  23. Pingback: 2013 July 20: The video of Duduzile Zozo’s funeral | inkanyiso.org

  24. Pingback: 2013 Aug. 31: Black Lesbian Visual Activist wins Mbokodo award | inkanyiso.org

  25. Pingback: 2013 Dec. 9: Zozo’s alleged murderer to appear in court for the second time | inkanyiso.org

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