Activists are outraged that the man accused of stabbing young lesbian mother Noxolo Xakeka to death is out on bail and could influence witnesses.
Xakeka (23), known by many as Noxie, was stabbed to death at a New Year’s Day party in Strand, near Cape Town, allegedly because of her sexuality.
Bongile Joni was arrested soon after for the murder, but was given bail. Disturbingly, one of the reasons that he was released was because he sustained an injury when Xakeka fought back to protect herself.
Now, activists from Triangle Project and Free Gender are hoping to put Joni back behind bars. They have launched a petition calling for the magistrate in the case to repeal the alleged killer’s bail.
“Right now, a man accused of murdering a woman because she was a lesbian is in the same community as LGBTI people and of potential witnesses,” said Sharon Cox, Health & Support Services Manager at Triangle Project.
“While someone accused of such violence is free to walk the streets, no LGBTI person in Strand can feel safe,” she added.
Activists noted that this is not the first hate crime murder in the area; leaving the local LGBTI community in a state of fear.
“The release of the accused has disturbed residents, by undermining public peace and security, particularly the security of those from the LGBTI community,” reads the petition.
“The perpetrator resides in the same area as those who were present on the night and those who are friends of the deceased. There is a great likelihood for the accused person in this matter to attempt to intimidate the potential witnesses and others who are providing support to those impacted by this crime.”
According to reports, Xakeka became the focus of anti-LGBTI abuse from Joni, one of the guests at the party at which she was killed. He is alleged to have touched her and told her to “stop this [lesbian] business” and that she needed “to take a penis”.
An argument ensued and Joni is alleged to have stabbed her three times. She later died in hospital. NoXakeka left behind a six-year-old son, her parents and her partner.
The activists hope to present their petition in court on 12 April. To support the call for Joni’s bail to be revoked, sign the petition here.