Activists are outraged by another delay in the trial of the men accused of murdering 19 year old lesbian Zoliswa Nkonyana.
On Friday morning, around 100 activists protested outside the Khayelitsha Regional Court under the banner of the Western Cape Alliance to End Hate.
The chanted slogans, sang, toy-toyed and held placards demanding justice for Zoliswa and an end to prejudice and violence against LGBTI people.
Later, inside the court, they were shocked to hear Magistrate Watton agree – for the third time – to postpone the trial due to changes in the legal team representing three of the nine accused.
The trial has now been set to start on 27 August with Watton issuing a warning that all the accused must have legal representation present.
She further agreed to a demand from Prosecutor Isaacs that all lawyers must have all the necessary documentation for the trial in their possession before the court reconvened on Wednesday.
“The constant changes in legal representation of the accused are causing unacceptable delays to a case that has been ongoing for almost a year,” said a statement from the Western Cape Alliance to End Hate.
Addressing the crowd outside the court, Vanessa Ludwig, Director of Triangle Project said:
“This constant switching of lawyers is an absolutely unacceptable delaying tactic by the defence that is denying justice to Zoliswa and ignoring the extreme pain and trauma of her family and friends as each day in court comes and goes without any progress in the trial.”
Zoliswa Nkonyana was beaten, stoned and stabbed to death by a group of around 20 men in Khayelitsha on 4 February 2006 – reportedly for being a lesbian.