Statement to the Police Commissioner about Noxolo Nogwaza’s Murder case

25 April 2012

The brutal rapes and murders against lesbians in the past years has become more than a threat to the LGBTIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Asexual) community in South Africa. Aside from discrimination, abuse and violent crimes, the LGBTIA community also faces marginalization even though the Constitution of South Africa enshrines every citizen’s human rights.

Hate crimes against LGBTIA member’s often remains unreported and the slow response of the justice system to the reported crime only exacerbates the silence.

As Kaleidoscope Youth Network we urge the Police Commissioner to act with diligence and urgency to the brutal case of Noxolo Nogwaza of Kwa-Thema of Johannesburg who was brutally raped and then murdered, allegedly because she was a lesbian in 2011.

It is heart breaking and disconcerting that a year later; there has not been any concrete report from the police on her case. We request the office of the Police Commissioner to:

-Prioritize the arrests of Nogwaza’s murderers and rapists

- Show zero tolerance to perpetrators of hate crimes

- Defend the rights of LGBTIA citizens who are targeted on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, conveying a zero tolerance policy towards hate crime perpetrators.

- Prioritize existing hate crime trials in court. Multiple postponements are a terrible example of apathy when it comes to persecuting hate crime perpetrators.

We believe that justice delayed is justice denied and the lack of accountability, arrest and convictions of the perpetrators will perpetuate the mindset that rapes and murder committed against LGBTIA individuals is acceptable.

South Africa is a young democracy with a very painful past where South African’s have lived with discrimination and segregation based on their differences; there was a hope that such circumstances would never happen again in this democracy many gave up their lives to achieve.

We hope that the Commissioner will hear our call and respond with great urgency to bring those responsible for Nogwaza’s death to book. The future of our democracy depends on it.

This statement was issued by

Kaleidoscope Youth Network Auxiliary Committee

Jan Malatjie, PRO

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