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Talented artist and ‘kind soul’ brutally murdered as ‘unrelenting’ homophobic hate spirals

Maggie Baska June 1, 2021
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Aubry Boshoga

Aubrey Boshoga, 48, was violently murdered over the weekend, and his body was discovered outside his house in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Instagram/@aubreyboshoga)

Talented LGBT+ artist and flight attendant Aubrey Boshoga was brutally murdered over the weekend, and his body was discovered outside his home in South Africa.

Eyewitness News (EWN) reported that Boshoga’s body was discovered outside his home in Observatory in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to EWN, Boshoga, 38, was stabbed multiple times over the weekend before he was dropped off at his house.

Boshoga’s sister, Josephine, confirmed his death to EWN on Monday (31 May). She said CCTV footage from the “early hours of the morning” showed a “white car” dumping her “brother’s lifeless body” outside his home.

“So I think he died in the early hours, around midnight,” she said. “And people started seeing his body at 6am [on Saturday morning].”

South African Airways (SAA) also confirmed Boshoga’s death in a statement to News24. SAA spokesperson Vimla Maistry said the airway was informed about Boshoga’s death on Monday and said Boshoga was a “passionate member of SAA who served as a cabin crew member”.

Police were not able to provide any information about Aubrey Boshoga’s death to News24.

The LGBT+ activists and friends of Boshoga remembered him as a man who was very much loved in the community. Psychologist and writer Suntosh Pillay condemned Bosoga’s death on Twitter. He said LGBT+ people in South Africa “continue to suffer unrelenting hate and violence”.

“Talented artist Aubrey Boshoga, aged 48, was murdered and his body dumped outside his house last night. For no other reason except living his life,” Pillay wrote.

Activist and TV and radio host Refilwe Modiselle shared that Boshoga was excited about his next art exhibition and “returning to work at SAA”. Modiselle said: “I’m numb, hurt and angry. They murdered you heartlessly Mase.

“When we spoke it was laughter and love as usual.”

The model also shared pictures of Boshoga’s “final piece” which is titled “Room 352”.

Musician Simphiwe Dana said that Boshoga was a “kind soul”, who was a “huge collector of vintage suitcases”. Dana wrote: “May his murderer be brought to justice.”

One person on Twitter called for others to help get the #JusticeforAubrey tag to “trend” online and bring awareness to Boshoga’s death and the violence against LGBT+ people in the country. They wrote: “Aubrey ‘Masekind’ Boshoga was senselessly killed in the early hours of Saturday morning. Stabbed nine times and his body dumped outside his gate.

“Another hate crime because he was different. Why do we hate so much?”

Aubrey Boshoga’s tragic death comes amid a wave of violence against LGBT+ people in South Africa. EWN reported that at least 10 LGBT+ people had been murdered in the country so far this year. But the outlet admitted the number could be higher as the deaths are “just the murders we know of”.

Steve Letsike, executive director of LGBT+ rights group Access Chapter 2, called on the South African department of justice to “step up and protect LGBTI persons”. He told EWN that the deaths are “unnecessary” and that “hate crime legislation needs to be made into law”.

“Communities need to change their attitude and behaviour towards LGBTI persons, but more importantly, justice must be served,” Letsike said. “And it is discouraging, as many of us as LGBTI organisations and as activists. We continue to work, but also we continue to live in fear.”

Related topics: Hate crime, Homophobia, murder, South Africa

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