Ndumie Funda (right) with a victim of a hate-crime attack

The members of the team tasked with engaging with government on hate crimes against LGBTI people, and lesbians in particular, has been announced.

On Wednesday last week, after much deliberation, consultation and three rounds of talks with the South African Department of Justice, “representatives of South Africa’s LGBTIAQ community” were “appointed to an interim task team on homophobic and gender-based hate crimes”.

This according to a statement from the Western Cape-based group Luleki Sizwe, which has spearheaded a vocal campaign against the ‘corrective rape’ of lesbian women.

The representatives will meet regularly with a cluster of government representatives from the SA Police Service, the departments of Social Development, Health and Justice and national prosecutors.

“I am excited that we will be getting our heads together and putting our differences aside to work for our communities. It is about time we have united forces,” said Ndumie Funda of Luleki Sizwe, who was appointed as a member of the task team.

Members represent various sectors & have track records in aiding LGBTI people

The team will be an interim one until permanent members are elected through a planned national “imbizo” on hate crime attacks, murders and corrective rapes of LGBTI people.

Those chosen to be on the interim team represent various sectors and have proven constituencies and track records in aiding LGBTI communities in South Africa.

Community based organisations are represented by Ndumie Funda (Luleki Sizwe) and Funeka Soldaat (Free Gender). The Joint Working Group (a cluster of National LGBTI groups) is represented by Phindi Malaza (Forum for the Empowerment of Women), Zethu Matabeni (Gay and Lesbian Archives), Jill Henderson (Triangle Project) and Juan Nel (Unisa Centre for Applied Psychology).

The human rights sector is represented by Dipika Nath (Human Rights Watch) and HIV and AIDS by Nokhwezi Hoboyi (Treatment Action Campaign).

Two members are still to be appointed, one representing the trade union COSATU and another experienced in gender-based violence.

The interim task team will meet on 14 July to address and finalise the plan of action and terms of reference for the task team; to escalate ongoing and new cases of hate crimes; to establish the task team’s processes and financial and human resources and; to plan the national “imbizo” on hate crimes.

Other LGBTI organisations have been asked to submit suggested terms of reference for the task team and any cases of homophobic hate crimes that need attention and escalation to the task team’s members before 14 July.

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