LGBT people in South Africa are facing unprecedented violence.
People who are part of the LGBT community in Limpopo, a northern province of the country, have reported that they are fearful of the mounting violence against them.
A number of people have expressed fears that they may be killed, raped or burnt because of their sexuality.
The initial alleged reports appeared in SABC, a public broadcaster in the country.
Cindy Maotoana, a chairperson for a local LGBT group, said that their community is being targeted, especially lesbians who are falling victim to “corrective rape”.
Maotoana said: “I just want to say to the community that we need your support. LGBTI’s are hiding because they are scared of being raped and being brutally burned or something could happen, so we are here asking support from the province.”
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The chairperson added that their humanity was as valuable as anybody else, and they should not be victimised for their sexual or gender identity.
“We are human beings, we need you. Nothing is wrong with us. We do not need to be killed is just a little difference that our orientation differs from the people, does mean we deserve to be brutally killed.
It does not mean someone has to rape and kill me or even burn me. Can you imagine someone being burned alive? It is not good what they are doing to us,” Maotoana added.
Same-sex marriage is legal in South Africa, and couples can legally jointly adopt children and seek out IVF and surrogacy treatments.
However, LGBT people still face social stigma and staunch homophobic violence, with 61 per cent of South African’s believing that society should not accept homosexuality in 2013.
A protest painting depicting Nelson Mandela and the South African president Jacob Zuma engaged sexually recently emerged causing outrage.
The painting, created by Ayanda Mabulu, was intended to criticise Zuma for accusations of corruption and rape.
He has since said he would respect the country’s law.