12 November 2012

South Africa: Western Cape Woman Killed for Being Lesbian

Photo: EPOC
Rights activists (file photo): The Democratic Alliance says the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities must be at the forefront to stem the rising tide of brutal homophobic attacks.

Johannesburg — The killing of a 19-year-old woman in Cape Town's Samora Machel informal settlement, apparently because of her sexual orientation, was confirmed on Monday.

Warrant Officer November Filander said police were searching for four men after four women were attacked on Friday night.

"An argument ensued between them, whereby one of the women was fatally stabbed and another one slightly wounded," Filander said.

"The suspects fled the scene on foot. A case of murder is being investigated."

Luleki Sizwe, an organisation that supports lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, said Sihle Sikoji was stabbed because of her sexual orientation.

"It is a hate crime... The men approached them and said they act like boys. When Sihle said they were not boys but lesbians she was attacked and stabbed with a mini-spear," founder Ndumie Funda said.

"Incidents like this occur too often in townships and informal settlements. We are deeply hurt and depressed by her death. She was a vibrant young woman."

Sikoji was stabbed once in the chest.

Funda said the police and the justice department were in contact with the family and organisation. Funeral arrangements had not been finalised.

Filander said investigations were continuing and no arrests had been made.

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