Noxolo Nogwaza

LGBTI activists will today mark the second anniversary of the brutal murder of lesbian Noxolo Nogwaza, a hate crime that remains unsolved.

On 24 April 2011, the body of the 24-year-old Nogwaza was found in an alley in KwaThema, outside of Johannesburg.

She had been raped and her head and face were crushed.

“Noxolo’s head was completely deformed, her eyes out of the sockets, her brain spilt, teeth scattered all around and face crushed beyond recognition,” the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee (EPOC) reported at the time.

According to witnesses, Nogwaza – who had been a member of EPOC – had also been stabbed with glass. An empty beer bottle and a used condom were found near her genitals.

A large pavement brick, that is believed to have been used to crush her head, was found by her side.

To date, her murderer or murderers have not been apprehended and no suspects have been arrested.

“Her family cannot rest until justice is served,” said the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) in a statement.

On Wednesday afternoon, activists will gather near the Ekhaya Center in KwaThema, a short distance from where Nogwaza’s was killed, to remember her life and her horrific murder.

Members of EPOC on Tuesday cleaned up the area where Nogwaza’s body was found to prepare for today’s ceremony.

The event will also honour other LGBTI people who have been murdered on the basis of their sexual orientation in and around Ekurhuleni.

A short memorial service will be held and a temporary stone structure on which messages of hope and condolences will be painted will be erected. Balloons with solidarity messages from around the world will also be inflated.

“This commemoration, will also honour the lives of Eudy Simelane (former player of Banyana Banyana, Girlie Nkosi, Xolani Dlomo and many others who were killed in similar circumstances,” said FEW.

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