Matlatse Makgai (Source: Inkanyiso /  Photo by: Thekwane Bongi Mpisholo)

Matlatse Makgai (Source: Inkanyiso /
Photo by: Thekwane Bongi Mpisholo)

A lesbian woman has recounted her survival of an attack by a knife wielding man who tried to rape her in the township of Vosloorus, in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg.

Matlatse “Sweeto” Makgai told the blog Inkanyiso.org about the incident which took place the week after Women’s Day, earlier this month.

According to the 26-year-old activist, when she went to a local shop near her home she was approached by a man in his fifties whom she knew from the neighbourhood.

He allegedly told her to have sex with him. She repeatedly refused. He continued to demand sex and even tried to offer her money.

Makgai said that she grabbed the money and threw it into the yard of a nearby house.

In full view of the shop owner, who did nothing, the man then allegedly started punching and kicking her, shouting “Now that you threw my cash away I am going to fuck you for free!”

“During the fight, a knife fell out of the back pocket of his pants,” Makgai said.

“I saw it, then struggled to get it away from him but my efforts were in vain because he was taller and had an advantage. He then got hold of it and stabbed me on my left hand.”

The man allegedly attempted to stab her elsewhere, including her stomach, and in the struggle stabbed her arm, which she used as a shield.

Makgai was saved by a passing woman who intervened and asked what was going on. The man claimed that the victim was trying to rob him. The woman found the cash and gave to the man, allowing Makgai to escape.

She was treated at the Natalspruit Hospital later that night and has laid charges with the police.

Makgai said, however, that she has struggled to get the doctor who treated her at the hospital to fill out the forms required by the authorities because he only works at the clinic on certain days.

Makgai said that the process, which has seen her repeatedly returning to the hospital, has left her feeling “helpless and tired”.

Townships in Ekurhuleni have been the site of numerous unsolved brutal attacks against lesbian women. Most recently, 26-year-old Duduzile Zozo was found murdered in Thokoza in late June. Her body was discovered with a toilet brush rammed into her vagina.

In April, the body of 36-year-old openly lesbian Patricia Mashigo (36) was found in the Daveyton township. She appeared to have been stoned to death.

On 24 April 2011, the body of 24-year-old Noxolo Nogwaza was found in an alley in KwaThema. She had been raped and her head and face were crushed.

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