Civil society groups gather outseide the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court (Facebook / FEW)

Civil society groups gather outside the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court (Facebook / FEW)

Agang SA has restated its LGBT-affirming position ahead of this year’s elections by showing its support for the family of murdered lesbian Duduzile Zozo at the trial of her alleged killer.

More than 35 member of the new political party attended last week’s bail hearing of 22-year-old Lekgoa Lesley Motleleng, the accused in what Agang described in a statement as “one of the most gruesome hate crimes in the history of South Africa”.

Zozo’s body was found in Thokoza outside of Johannesburg in June last year. She had been raped with a toilet brush and was strangled to death. The murder made local and international headlines and drew condemnation from many sectors of society.

Motleleng made another appearance in the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg on Thursday. The hearing was also attended by various civil society organisations including FEW, Iranti and One in Nine.

The state opposed Motleleng’s bail application on the basis of him having prior convictions and the matter was postponed to 29 January.

“We call for Justice for Duduzile Zozo,” said Agang spokesman, Thabo Leshilo. “We hope the justice system does not fail her. Agang SA is acting in support of the family and to ensure that the values of the South African constitution are upheld: all the citizens have equal rights.

“Gay rights are human rights and homophobes who do not respect human dignity have no place in our communities,” he added.

In February last year, Mamphela Ramphele, the founder and leader of Agang, said that there is no place for homophobia in South Africa. “That we have homophobia today is a disgrace,” Ramphele told City Press.

“…we haven’t educated people to understand that being orientated sexually in a particular way is not a crime, is not a disease; it’s a not something you can cure,” she said.

There appears to be a renewed attempt by some political parties to woo the gay vote. In November, Julius Malema, whose EFF is contesting the 2014 elections, told supporters that “we love all the gay people in South Africa and the world”. The party also recently issued a statement condemning the passage of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

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