Stephen Nketsi (Facebook)
The bodies of LGBTI people continue to pile up, with no end in sight. Just days after the murder of Lerato Moloi in Soweto, it’s been reported that a gay man has been killed in the Free State.
Activists have told Mambaonline that the body of 26-year-old Stephen Nketsi was found dumped in a hole in the township of Botshabelo, 45 km east of Bloemfontein, on Thursday.
It’s believed that the graphic designer was stabbed on his way home from a tavern after a ladies night event on Wednesday, which was marked around the world as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).
On Facebook, Nketsi’s heartbroken sister, Fatima Mayt Nketsi, posted a picture of her brother and spoke of the “unbearable pain” of her loss. “Rest in peace our beloved Steven… surely we will miss u soo much,” she said.
The Free State saw another LGBTI killing last month, when the charred body of 28-year-old Nonkie Smous was discovered in the township of Maokeng in Kroonstad.
Moeketsi Mokhothu, an outreach-worker for Health4Men in Bloemfontein, told Mambaonline that the latest attacks show “that the LGBTI community is no longer safe”.
He asked what it will take for the police and the government to ensure the safety and security of LGBTI individuals. “Most of the cases of LGBTI hate crimes in the Free State have been ignored,” an exasperated Mokhothu said.
This past weekend, the half naked body of 27-year-old lesbian woman Lerato “Tambai” Moloi was found in Soweto. Large rocks had been thrown onto her head and it’s believed that she was raped.
The murders appear to indicate an alarming new spike in anti-LGBTI attacks in South Africa. In response, the Love Not Hate LGBTI hate crime project this week launched its “5 – Justice Denied” campaign.
The initiative highlights five unresolved LGBTI hate crime cases that reflect the appalling level of injustice and inequality faced by LGBTI victims within the criminal justice system.
Love Not Hate also admitted this week that the government’s National Task Team on Gender and Sexual Orientation-Based Violence against LGBTI Persons and its Rapid Response Team “are not delivering what was expected”.