Ventersdorp Hate Crime case postponed

lgbti ventersdorp hate crime caseMarch 2, 2015

The case of Disebo Gift Makau whose naked body was found, strangled with a hosepipe rammed down her throat in August 2014 to be deferred to the Potchefstroom High Court.

The naked body of Disebo Gift Makau, a 24 year-old lesbian was found close to her home in Tshing township

in Ventersdorp on 15 August 2014. A hosepipe had been rammed down her throat and filled with water. She had been strangled with a piece of wire, a shoelace had been tied across her mouth, holding the hosepipe in place. The suspect was arrested the following day. The suspect will appear in the Ventersdorp Magistrate’s Court where an indictment will be served and the case will be referred to the Potchefstroom High Court in May 2015.

Makau’s family and friends wait for justice to be served , still devastated by this hate crime. Disebo Makau’s mother, Mathapelo Makau said that she had always feared for her daughter’s safety. “I always told her to look after herself when she went out. I was aware that the community did not fully accept her as a lesbian.” Councillor Mapule Mtaboge, MMC, Sport, Arts and Culture in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district municipailty said she saw Disego Makau’s naked corpse on the morning it was discovered. “Her face was full, she had been fighting, there were scratches on her neck. The suspect was arrested but we don’t know if he was alone.”

The story of Disego Makau is replicated in hate crimes targeting members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community (LGBTI) across the country. As an “out” lesbian, she and her family were subject to the scorn and derision of the community, who remains intolerant of alternative gender identy.

Despite the progressive legislation and policy in respect of sexual orientation, the continued violations of members of the LGBTI community demonstrate the disparity between South Africa’s progressive legislation and substantive equality enjoyed by the LGBTI community.

Also this week, Mambaonline reported that two men are on trial in the Port Elizabeth High Court for allegedly raping a lesbian woman in the Eastern Cape township of Kwazakhele.

On Wednesday, a witness, Thabizolo Nodada, described how four men – Sonwabo Ngcete (20), Khuselo Manta (22), Siyamthanda Ndiza (21) and Siyabonga Mahlangu (21) – allegedly attacked the unnamed woman in the early hours of the morning on 29 January 2012.

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