The month of brutality against South Africa’s LGBTI community continues as reports of another horrific murder of a lesbian woman in Limpopo come to light.
According to Limpopo LGBTI Proudly Out’s Cindy Molefe, the body of 29-year-old Hendrietta Thapelo Morifi, known as Andritha, was discovered by her mother on Saturday at her home in Polo Park, Mokopane.
The older woman, who had been babysitting Andritha’s two-year-old daughter, forced her way into Andritha’s house when she did not answer the locked door, although the keys were visible through the window.
Inside, she was met with bloody fingerprints and blood-drenched underwear on the floor. She found Andritha’s body on a bed under a pile of pillows and blankets.
Molefe said that Andritha’s mother reported that the young woman had been stabbed in the neck with a braai fork and her neck was slit from ear to ear. She also believes that her daughter was raped in the attack.
Andritha, who had lived as an openly out lesbian, is survived by her daughter.
Molefe reported that two men, one of whom was allegedly wearing Andritha’s jacket, were arrested shortly after the incident, but were later released, apparently due to lack of evidence.
She accused the police of not having providing Andritha’s family with a case number for three days after the murder.
Attempts to get comment from the authorities by Mambaonline were unsuccessful at the time of writing.
“Another slain lesbian and child of our soil. Enough is enough! Lalangoxolo Andritha. We will remain fighting the struggle for you,” said Molefe.
In addition to Andritha, the last month has seen the murder of Thapelo Makhutle, the 24-year-old gay/trans individual who was mutilated and murdered in the Northern Cape; Neil Daniels, who was stabbed and set alight in Cape Town; 22-year-old Phumeza Nkolonzi from Nyanga, Cape Town, who was shot three times by a man who burst into her home; and, also on the weekend, the killing of 28-year-old Sanna Supa in Braamficherville, Soweto.
Activists have released a video (see below) calling on President Jacob Zuma to step in and take action against the growing wave of hate crimes against the LGBTI community.
Lance Weyer, Mr. Gay South Africa 2011, called on new National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega to protect LGBTI people and backed an online petition urging her to “put a stop to this horrendous trend of homophobic murders by kick-starting the stalled Hate Crimes Task Force”.
An exclusive Mambaonline report this week concluded that little has been achieved by the hate crimes task team in the year since its formation was announced by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
Watch the video message to President Zuma below. Sign the petition here.