Gay teen strangled to death with shoelace
Authorities claim Lesley Makousa’s murder may not have been linked to his sexuality.
Horrific scenes unfolded in South Africa over the weekend, after the body of a 17-year-old student was found.
Lesley Makousa – who was openly gay – had been strangled with a shoelace.
Adding to the tragedy, the body of an unborn baby was also found at the scene, wrapped in a plastic bag.
Their bodies were found by a passer-by in an isolated area just outside the student city of Potchefstroom.
Although police are yet to disclose a motive, but claim the two deaths are unrelated.
“There are two separate incidents,” Constable Trom from the Ikageng SAPS told Mamba Online.
“It’s just unfortunate that his body was dumped there or that he was killed there.”
It remains unclear if Makousa’s sexuality or gender identity played a role in his murder.
Trom added that there are currently no suspects and that it does “not appear to be a hate crime for now”.
Thabiso Mogapi wa Tsotetsi – Chairperson of Action For Social Justice International – told Mamba Online that Makousa was openly LGBT.
Tsotetsi said that hate-based crimes against LGBT people were unusual in the area, calling Potchefstroom “an LGBTI hub”.
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The most recent homophobic attack in the city took place last November.
Gay music student Bobby Motlatla was stabbed 39 times in his flat. That killing remains unsolved.
A memorial service for Makousa will be held at the Promosa Secondary School later this week.
South Africa is one of the most progressive countries in Africa, allowing same-sex marriage and adoption.
In February, the country’s Anglican church announced plans to allow gay and lesbian married couples to join the church as full members.
Last year, calls were made to adapt the nation’s sex education classes, as they didn’t teach anything about same-sex relationships.