The Triangle Project, along with members of the Western Cape End Hate Alliance, is today protesting outside the Blue Downs Magistrate Court in the Cape to support the victim of a homophobia-based rape.
The gathering is a demand for justice for the 20 year old gay man known as Luanda. On 26 April 2008, Luanda, who was 19 years old at the time, was allegedly beaten and raped by three men. The attack took place at what Luanda described as a ‘dump’ in Mfuleni.
The men beat Luanda until he lost consciousness. He was found the next morning by people walking past. He woke up in hospital after five days. By this time his family thought he had been killed and had already started searching mortuaries for him.
The attack was reported to the police and three suspects were arrested and charged with rape. They were later released on bail following an appearance at the Blue Downs Magistrate Court on March 11 this year. They were scheduled to again appear in court today.
“This is the first case of rape of a black gay man from the townships that has reached trial in the province and it is expected to ensure justice for Luanda and all the other Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersexed people whose cases never reached a court room,” Triangle Project said in a statement.
The Cape Town based LGBT rights organisation is demanding that Luanda’s rights as victim be upheld and that he not be subjected to discrimination and secondary victimisation on account of his sexual orientation during the trial.
The protestors also insist that the prosecutor and magistrate give full consideration to the role of homophobia in the perpetration of the crime and that any sentence reflects the court’s condemnation of all hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Finally, Triangle has demanded that the court oppose unnecessary postponements and ensure swift progress in the trial.
The demonstration is part of a broader campaign by activists to pressure the South African criminal justice system to strengthen its protection of LGBTI individuals.