Modise Hamilton Mosweu

A gay West Rand man has been brutally murdered, and possibly raped, in Westonaria in an apparent hate crime.

The body of 34-year-old Modise Hamilton Mosweu was found in a pool of blood in a neighbour’s yard, three houses away from his home, on Sunday 11 November.

According to a witness, who wishes to remain anonymous, he had been stabbed. It is possible Mosweu was also stoned as there were rocks around his body.

His underwear was found nearby, leading to speculation that he may have also been raped, although this has not been confirmed by the authorities.

Despite the crime taking place in their backyard, the neighbours said that they did not hear any sounds of a struggle.

Mathabo ‘Thabinky’ Maqhubela from the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), a friend of Mosweu, told Mambaonline that she had seen him on Saturday, the night of, or before, his murder.

“I’m furious. So angry. I want justice for Modise,” she said, describing him as a “very vibrant, very out gay man. He had a beautiful soul”. Mosweu’s Facebook profile says that he worked as an educator at the Eastern Goldfields College

Although a motive has not yet been established, Maqhubela believes that the murder was a hate crime due to the brutality of the attack and the fact that he may have been raped.

“What kind of freedom is this if LGBTI people must have a curfew?” she asked. “Do LGBT people need to be scared because we can’t be on the streets at night because we can be a target?”

Maqhubela linked Mosweu’s death to the ongoing wave of hate crime attacks against gays and lesbians in South Africa and expressed her frustration at the lack of progress in the crisis.

“I’m at the point where sometimes I don’t even have emotions. I feel like that giving up. I don’t know what to do,” she said.

A memorial service was held for Mosweu on Thursday. His funeral will take place on Saturday.

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