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Lesbian woman ‘brutally murdered because of her sexuality’ in South Africa

Danai Nesta Kupemba May 31, 2022
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Nontokozo Motloung is the fourth LGBT+ person to be murdered in South Africa. Credit: Mamba Online

A 27-year-old South African lesbian was “brutally murdered” and mutilated in a suspected homophobic killing. Warning – violence.

Nontokozo Caroline Motloung was found dead in a bush on 21 May, almost a week after she was last seen with a male friend who police are currently searching for, according to Mambo Online.

After she was last seen on 15 May, Motloung’s family reported her missing on 18 May.

Police began to suspect foul play when they discovered bloodstains at her friend’s house in the informal settlement of Tshepong.

The Tshepong community started a search to find Motloung and return her home, but tragically found her dead with her throat slit and her hands broken.

Major general Zodwa Ettie Molefe, Sedibeng district commissioner, said that the elements had taken a toll on her body, suggesting she had been there for some time.

The Vaal LGBTQI+ organisation said, per Mambo Online: “It’s alleged that Nontokozo Caroline Motloung was brutally murdered because of her sexuality.”

Police are still searching for the suspect.

LGBT+ people in South Africa continue to be victims of hate crimes. (Photo credit should read RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP via Getty Images)

A memorial service was held in her honour on 26 May at Tshepong Playground Phase 2, where members of the community lit candles.

Motloung is the fourth known queer South African to be murdered this year. Hate crimes continue to be rife in the country.

In March, Pinky Shongwe, a 32-year-old woman, was stabbed to death after she rejected a man’s advances. Her family believe it is because she was openly lesbian. No one has been arrested for Shongwe’s murder.

In an interview with Mamba Online, Hlengiwe Buthelezi, director of the KwaZulu-Natal LGBTQ+ group, said that South African officials are not doing enough to stem the murders of LGBTQ+ folk in the country.

She said: “These incidents are not ending. I am very very shocked. Sadness is an understatement. I’d thought by now we wouldn’t be hearing such terrible news.”

A survey conducted by OUT in 2016 found that 88 per cent of anti-LGBTQ+ crimes go unreported in South Africa.

More: Africa, South Africa

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