Murdered: 24-year-old Thapelo Makhutle

A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of Thapelo Makhutle, the 24-year-old gay/trans individual who was mutilated and murdered in the Northern Cape earlier this month.

Colonel Bosman of the Mothibistad Police told Mambaonline that 22-year-old Sizwe Jajini was arrested on Sunday for the murder.

He appeared in the Mothibistad Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday morning where he confessed to the murder. He is expected to appear in court again on 3 July.

Bosman said that she had no information as to a possible motive. Initial reports suggested that two men were involved in the attack but she said that as the investigation is still ongoing “we can’t say if there are more suspects or not”.

According to Shaine Griqua, Director of Legbo Northern Cape, Jajini was arrested at his mother’s house in Welkom and was found with Makhutle’s laptop.

Griqua said activists who attended the court appearance reported that the alleged killer was arrogant and appeared to show no remorse.

“We’ve very happy about the arrest. We just want to see justice done,” Griqua said.

“We hope that Thapelo’s death will highlight the need for more resources and structures to support LGBTI people in under-developed areas such as the Northern Cape,” he added.

Makhutle’s throat was slit in the early hours of Saturday 9 June in his rented room after he had been out with friends. His attacker or attackers cut off his genitals and stuffed them into his mouth.

Makhutle was also known as ‘Queen Bling’ and ‘ThaBling’ and had been recently crowned Miss Gay Kuruman. He was buried on 16 June.

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