Zoliswa Nkonyane

A march will take place in Cape Town next week to protest the ongoing delays in the trial of the men accused of the February 2006 murder of Zoliswa Nkonyana, a 19-year-old lesbian.

Angry activists point out that the trial of the nine suspects has been postponed 21 times since Nkonyana’s murder over three years ago.

They also note that the main state witness in the case only gave her testimony in December last year; two years after the trial began. She has yet to be cross-examined on this testimony.

The march is being organised by the 07-07-07 Campaign and The Western Cape End Hate Alliance and will take place on Friday the 7th of August.

“It has become increasingly clear that the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court is incapable of taking this case forward and as such we are demanding that the matter be transferred to the Cape High Court immediately. We are approaching all the relevant authorities to this effect and taking all necessary actions to ensure our demands are met. Justice for Zoliswa is long overdue and we can no longer watch injustice prevail in a court of law,” a statement from the organisers said.

The march will proceed from Cape Town’s Grand Parade at 9am, down Darling Street and, after handing over the memorandum stating the organisers’ demands at the Provincial Legislature (situated in Wale Street), participants will gather for a formal assembly (venue to be confirmed).

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.

The trial of another allegedly homophobic murder, that of openly lesbian Eudy Simelane is resuming at the Delmas Circuit Court on 29 July. This time only three of the four accused, those who pleaded not guilty, will appear in court as the other accused who pleaded guilty is already serving a 31 year sentence.

Thirty-one-year-old Simelane was assaulted, raped and murdered in the Tornado section of Kwa Thema in Johannesburg’s East Rand at the end of April 2008.

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