The 07-07-07 campaign to end hate crimes and gender-based-violence has seen its Cape Town launch on the second anniversary of the murder of Zoliswa Nkonyana who was killed in Khayelitsha.

The event took place at an inter-faith gathering on Sunday at the Saartjie Baartman Centre in Heideveld, and was spearheaded by Cape Town’s Triangle Project – the oldest LGBT organisation in the country – and the Joint Work group (JWG).

“Our black sisters in townships and rural communities are continued targets of corrective rape; verbal, sexual and physical abuse; plagued by violence and trapped by the collective oppressions of sexism, homophobia, hetero-normative values and patriarchal structures,” said Triangle Project’s Marlow Valentine.

“Black lesbians and effeminate men are humiliated and publicly shamed resulting in their brutal and violent deaths which are ignored by local authorities and national leadership.”

The organisers say that they will focus on marginalised black lesbians in rural communities and townships, who are most vulnerable in the LGBT community.

“The Launch aims at putting the spotlight on the disparity between our constitutional rights and the implementation of these rights. It also aims at raising the awareness in townships and rural area about black lesbians plight”, Valentine told Behind The Mask.

The 07-07-07 campaign was initiated by the JWG following the brutal killing of two lesbians, Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Massoa, in Soweto on July 7, 2007. The campaign is named after the date of their murders.

It aims to ensure that the authorities aggressively work towards ending hate crimes as well as motivating the LGBT community to claim its rights.

Nineteen year old Zoliswa Nkonyana and three friends were attacked by a mob of men on February 4, 2006 and taunted about their sexuality. While the friends escaped, Nkonyana was stoned to death in front of the home of her stepfather. To-date the crime remains unsolved.

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