Following the murders of two lesbians, Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Massoa, in July, there have been reports that another group of women, some of them lesbian, was attacked in Johannesburg last weekend.

According to reports from a number of activists, Lebogang Mabe and three friends were attacked early on Saturday morning by a group of men.

Mabe says that she and her friends, all from Pretoria, went on a night out at Breeze/Brizz, a lesbian pub in Soweto on Friday night 2 November.

At the pub, a group of men apparently started to pester them, focusing specifically on one of the four women. The women felt uncomfortable and irritated by the men’s behaviour and, according to Mabe, decided to leave the pub and drive back to Pretoria just after midnight.

As they joined the M1 highway near Killarney Mall, Mabe claims that they noticed a black BMW following and signalling for them to stop. Two gun shots were allegedly fired from the BMW which forced them to pull over.

The men got out of their car; the women recognising them from the pub. They insisted on talking with the same woman they were pestering earlier and tried to forcibly take her with them. That is when the three other women apparently intervened.

The men allegedly started shooting at the women – shooting one woman in the head and Mabe twice in the stomach.

While Mabe says that the Metro Police arrived quickly on the scene, the men had already escaped. She was rushed to the Johannesburg General Hospital and the other victim is reported to have died on the scene.

Mabe was later moved to the Garankuwa hospital. A murder and attempted murder case was opened with the police at Garankuwa police station. No arrests have been made so far.

Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Massoa’s bodies were discovered by a jogger in a field in Meadowlands, Soweto, on Sunday 8 July. According to various reports, the couple, who were romantically involved, had been tortured, and possibly raped, before they were shot dead. The murder, thought to be a hate crime, remains unsolved.

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