Alleged rapist and murderer of Ekurhuleni lesbian to face justice

accused_hate_murder_Thembelihle Sokhele_lesbian_Ekurhuleni_face_justice

The late Thembelihle Sokhele

The man accused of raping and murdering a lesbian woman in Ekurhuleni outside of Johannesburg last year is finally standing trial.

The 45-year-old man allegedly attacked 28-year-old Thembelihle Sokhele in his Daveyton home in September last year. Her body was found in his room, two days after she’d been reported missing.

Sokhele had been raped and her head bashed against the wall. She’d also been suffocated with a pillow and was wrapped in a blanket next to the bed.

Sokhele’s body was only discovered by the man’s mother after a smell was noticed coming from the room. The accused handed himself in to the police shortly after.

The trial was due to start this week in the Pretoria High Court, almost a year after the woman’s murder, and after it was moved from the Benoni Magistrates Court.

In January, LGBT rights group Iranti-org slammed the police for its “sloppy work” in the investigation, which it said caused delays in the case.

The activists claimed that officers failed to note that Sokhele was a lesbian and had been “slack” in gathering vital evidence, including “leaving behind the victim’s clothes, her underwear and the blanket that wrapped her body at the scene of the crime.”

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