Decapitated: 23-year-old Thapelo Makhutle
A 23-year-old gay man in Kuruman, in the Northern Cape, was beheaded this past weekend following an argument about his sexuality and gender appearance.
According to the group Legbo Northern Cape, Thapelo Makhutle was attacked at his place of work in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district on Friday. The organisation said that there was an argument related to “his sexuality and homosexuality”.
His two attackers are believed to have followed him to the room where he lived and on Saturday cut his throat, decapitating him.
They left his body under a blanket as though he were sleeping.
Makhutle, who identified as both gay and transgender, was a volunteer for Legbo Northern Cape. He recently participated in the Kimberley Out In Africa Gay and Lesbian Festival, was known as a beauty queen named Queen Bling and was recently crowned Miss Gay Kuruman.
“It’s so sad. I can’t describe the pain that we are feeling right now,” Shaine Griqua, director of Legbo Northern Cape, told Mambaonline. “We have lost a young, talented, gay man who was open about who he was. The last few days have been like a dark cloud.”
He said that no arrests have yet been made in connection with the murder. He expressed his frustration with the lack of support for LGBT people in the Northern Cape and noted that hate crimes are on the rise in the province.
“We recently had a lesbian stabbed three times in a bar because they said that she should be a woman and not a man. She chose not to press charges because she didn’t want her family involved,” Griqua said.
“The government is not interested in this problem,” he added.
Legbo Northern Cape and other groups will be meeting on Wednesday to devise an awareness campaign about Makutle’s brutal attack.
The young man’s funeral will be held on Saturday in Kuruman.
â€¢ Please see the latest update on the murder here.