Zoliswa Nkonyane

Around 200 angry people protested at the resumption of the repeatedly delayed trial of the men accused of killing lesbian Zoliswa Nkonyana.

Nineteen year old Nkonyana was beaten, stoned and stabbed to death by a group of around 20 men in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape on 4 February 2006 – just meters from her home – allegedly for being a lesbian.

The trial resumed on Monday at the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court after more than three years and 25 delays and postponements. The demonstration was organised by the Western Cape 070707 End Hate Alliance, with protesters demanding justice for Nkonyana and calling for a speedy resolution to the case.

Marlow Valentine, director of the Triangle Project, told the Cape Times that, “It needs to be made clear that it was not another township murder,” insisting that the killing must be treated as a hate crime.

South African law, however, does not currently recognise hate crimes as a specific category of criminal behaviour.

Monday’s court proceedings focused on technicalities, with lawyers claiming that a number of the nine accused were minors at the time of their arrest and that their constitutional rights had been violated when police took their statements.

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