HATE CRIME VICTIMS NOT FORGOTTEN

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Eudy Simelane

The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project have organised a community clean-up – on Saturday, 25 April from 9am – at the site where Eudy Simelane’s body was found in Kwa-Thema on the East Rand.

They further aim to mark the anniversary of her death with another event on Monday 27 April, at the same site, featuring activities such as friendly soccer matches, poetry, speeches, music and dance, all preceded by a solemn moment marking her death at 9.30am.

On Monday the organisers also hope to unveil the “Eudy Simelane memorial bridge”, next to where the former Banyana Banyana soccer player’s body was discovered.

The body of thirty-one-year-old Simelane was discovered lying face down in a shallow river less than 200 metres from her home in the Tornado section of Kwa Thema on 28 April 2008. She had been gang-raped and repeatedly stabbed.

Four men were arrested for her murder, which is suspected to have been motivated by her gender transgression and sexual orientation.

For directions and details about the planned commemorative events, contact Phumi on 072 795 9194.

In the Cape, activists from the Triangle Project and Western Cape End Hate Alliance planned to today protest the lack of progress in the case of nineteen-year-old Zoliswa Nkonyana.

She was beaten, stoned and stabbed to death by a group of around 20 men in Khayelitsha in February 2006 for allegedly being openly homosexual.

The trial of the nine men accused of Nkonyana’s murder, which has caused frustration amongst community-based organisations, faith-based organisations and gender activists and human rights defenders, has again been postponed for the 25th time to 29 and 30 June.

The organisations were granted a last minute approval to hold a demonstration outside the offices of the Western Cape Premier in Whale Street, on the eve of the elections.

“The Khayelitsha Magistrate Court has proven itself to be ineffectual and morally unaccountable to the mandate of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We now want to move from action at the Khayelitsha Regional Court and target the Western Cape Premier to fulfil her respective mandate to ensure that justice prevails in the case of Nkonyana,” said the groups in a statement.

They have demanded that the Premier: “oppose any more unnecessary postponements and ensure swift progress in the trial; recognise that this crime was motivated by Zoliswa’s affirmation of her lesbian identity; recognise that our constitution and jurisprudence protects people’s sexual identities; and affirm that violence and discrimination have no place in our society.”

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