by Lerato Dumse
We have had four funerals in less than one month.
In August 2014, Disebo Gift Makau (23) was brutally murdered in Ventersdorp, North West and buried on the on 23rd.
Her callous murder was followed by the death of Manku Maduwane (52) in KwaThema who succumbed to illness and was buried alongside her niece Monica Maduwane (36) on September 7.
While we were still trying to process that, Busisiwe Ngobese (25) who was involved in a fatal car accident after attending Vaal Pride on the September 6, 2014 was buried on September 13.
Before those deaths and killing could sink in, the black lesbian community received news of yet another young black lesbian murder in Daveyton township.
Sibongile Tshabalala says the last time she communicated with her cousin Thembelihle “Lihle” Sokhela (28) was through a call on Saturday.
She had called to inform Lihle that she was going out of town, and when she returned and heard nothing from Lihle she assumed all was well.
Until she received a devastating phone call from work on Tuesday, urging her to come back home as Lihle’s body had been discovered.
This makes Lihle the second black lesbian in her 20s to be killed in a South African township in a month.
Lihle was alleged last seen on September 14, the same date in August 2014 that Gift Makau was last seen. Before her (Gift) half naked body was discovered at a neighbor’s yard in Ventersdorp, North West.
Sibongile identified Lihle’s half naked body wrapped in a blanket, with a swollen face, and blood in her ears and nose.
The man is reported to have handed himself over to the police and confessed to the crime.
Sibongile said she is the oldest cousin and is the responsible figure since their parents (who were siblings) have passed on, leaving them orphaned.
“I brought Lihle to Gauteng from Kwa-Zulu Natal after she completed her matric, about four years ago so that we could assist each other,” explains Sibongile.
She adds that Lihle, whose full name means Goodhope had just been to a job interview last week, and was hopeful for a positive response.
She also reveals that Lihle had recently opened a case of assault after being attacked by a friend and they said this raises a lot of questions for the family.
Daveyton based organisations have relied together and participated in a march on September 18 around Sgodi and railway section where the victim was found.
The suspect who is still signing at the police station as part of his release conditions from prison, is due back in court on September 26 to find out if he has sorted out his address issue to be able to apply for bail.
According to Daveyton Uthingo The Rainbow group on facebook, the memorial service of the late Thembelihle Sokhela will be held on the 26.09.2014.
The funeral to take place on the 28th September 2014 at home: # 22076 Victor drive Str. Daveyton (railway), which is the same venue for the memorial.
For further details, please call (0849172851)