Patricia Mashigo

In the same week that activists remembered LGBTI victims of hate crimes, comes a new report of another lesbian woman murdered on Joburg’s East Rand.

According to a report from the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee (EPOC), the body of the openly lesbian Patricia Mashigo (36) was discovered on Sunday out in the open on Mabaso Street, in the Daveyton township.

She appeared to have been stoned to death, although a cause of death has not been confirmed. Rocks and stones were found near her body.

Mashigo was described by activists as “a self-employed sales woman and mother” of two children.

“Pat was the eldest at her home and she lived with her sisters. She was a down to earth person, not a person that would hurt anybody,” Lungile Dladla from EPOC told Mambaonline.

Dladla revealed that she had spoken to Mashigo’s grieving sister who said that it is still unclear if she was also raped.

The attack took place just days before a memorial ceremony for LGBTI victims of hate crimes was held on the East Rand.

On Wednesday, activists gathered in nearby KwaThema on the second anniversary of the horrific murder of 24-year-old Noxolo Nogwaza, a particularly brutal hate crime that remains unsolved. Nogwaza too was stoned to death.

Dladla, who is herself a survivor of a hate crime attack, said that that situation facing lesbian women in South African townships “is bad”.

“I’m trying to have hope,” she said, “But police are too ignorant. When I asked Pat’s family they told me that the police haven’t even come to see them yet.”

While the South African government recently condemned attacks against LGBTI South Africans, little action has been taken against the ongoing string of murders of vulnerable gays and lesbians.

Mashigo’s funeral will be held at her home (corner Mockey and Eislen Street) in Daveyton on April 27 at 9am.

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