The corrective rape crisis has claimed another victim; a 13 year old lesbian who was attacked in Pretoria on Thursday.
This according to a statement from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, which said on Friday that the “government condemns this senseless and cowardly act of criminality”.
The department asserted South Africans’ right to freely express their sexuality.
“Gay and lesbian rights are human and constitutional rights which must be protected and respected at all times,” said spokesperson Tlali Tlali.
Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA), however, described the victim as a 14 year old transgender individual; biologically female but identifying as a boy.
The organisation reported that the victim had been raped on the way to school and was left unconscious after the attack and suffered significant internal damage and mental trauma.
“Apparently last week the victim was harassed by old men from his community. The harassment began after the victim was asked whether he is a girl or a boy. The victim ran home crying and told his mother about the incident,” said TIA.
It added that a rape case has been opened and that the victim, who has reportedly expressed a strong desire to change his sex, is under the care of a psychologist, social workers and a gender reassignment doctor.
Tebogo Nkoana, the director of TIA, visited the victim in hospital and met with his family. According to him, the family supports the child and hopes that justice will be done.
‘Corrective rape’ is defined as the rape of lesbian women as a means of “curing” them of their sexual orientation.
The latest attack comes after the recent rape and brutal murder of 24 year old lesbian activist Noxola Nogwaza in Kwa-Thema township, outside of Johannesburg, on April 24th.
There are at least five current cases of sexual and physical assault against lesbians in different courts in the country, in which the survivors were targeted because of their sexual orientation and/or gender expression.