The man found guilty of raping and murdering Kwa-Zulu-Natal lesbian Nqobile Khumalo earlier this month has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Ntuzuma Magistrates Court.

Khumalo went missing on the 3rd of May in KwaMashu, outside Durban.

On the 8th of May her ex-boyfriend confessed to killing her because he could not accept that she was in love with a woman and would not take him back.

The killer took police to where he buried Khumalo’s body; in a shallow grave just meters away from her parents’ home in the township.

The organisation Lexit described her body as being covered in bruises and her eyes having popped out of their sockets.

‘What drives the perpetrators is hate’

“We welcome the judgement but we are not happy because he was not sentenced on the basis of hate crimes,” Thobeka Khoza of Lexit told Behind the Mask.

“We want the justice system to act on hate crimes and acknowledge that hate crimes [are a] serious offence, because what drives the perpetrators is hate and therefore they should be sentenced for hate crimes.”

Khumalo was buried at her parent’s home in KwaMashu on Thursday May 14.

Over the last few years South Africa has seen a spate of attacks and rapes of primarily black lesbian women.

Most recenetly, on the 5th of May, a 13-year-old teen was raped in Pretoria, while the week before 24-year-old lesbian activist Noxola Nogwaza was raped and brutally murdered in Kwa-Thema township, outside of Johannesburg.

The government recently announced that a task team will be set up to look at hate crimes against LGBT people, in particular the ‘corrective rape’ of lesbians.

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