Following another hate crime attack, the South African government has, at the highest level, called on the rights of LGBT people to be respected.
The government said it condemned hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and inter-sex people in the strongest terms possible and reiterated its commitment to fight these abuses in South Africa.
In a statement, Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams urged communities to respect individuals’ right to life and dignity.
“Every citizen has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” she said.
Last week Friday, Times Live reported that a 23-year-old Cape Town man was beaten and shot on his birthday, apparently for being gay.
While walking with some friends Lunga Voko was harassed by a group of men who called him gay slurs.
“These guys were sticking out of the windows [of their car], calling me gay, istabane, imoffie because I was wearing my shorts, but I ignored them and we kept walking,” said Voko.
When his friends ran away, the men got out of the car.
“They… started asking me questions like why I’m a moffie, but I wouldn’t answer them. The next thing one of the guys slapped me and another attacked me with an iron rod, while the others gathered half bricks.”
While he was unconscious, witnesses allege that the attackers pulled out Voko’s penis and asked how he could be gay if he had undergone a circumcision initiation ceremony.
They continued to beat him and took a shot at him, hitting him in the ear and blowing a piece of it away. He later woke up in hospital.
“As government we are committed to fight all forms of crime, including violence against gay and lesbian people,” Williams said, adding that the South African Police Service was currently investigating the case and that justice would prevail.