A talented young LGBTI life has been cut short in a brutal murder in Potchefstroom.
The decomposing body of 35-year-old music student Bobby Motlatla was discovered in his flat last week, Tuesday. He had been stabbed on his bed multiple times.
Motlatla was a promising third year music student at North West University (NWU), specialising in singing. He had just passed his final exam and was planning to do his honours next year.
“Music was his life. He was so kind, loving and always smiling and easy to forgive,” Motlatla’s grieving sister, Lerato Mohlokoane, told Netwerk 24.
“He was my brother and my sister. We did everything together. He lived for music – gospel, opera and classical. He dreamed of giving music lessons,” she added.
NWU lecturer Antoinette Olivier told the newspaper that the murder had left the campus in shock. “It’s an absolute tragedy. He performed well academically, was dedicated, worked hard and walked the extra mile.”
In a statement, the NWU School of Music & Conservatory said: “Bobby was the epitome of kindness, a gentle soul who was extremely well loved by his peers and lecturers. His work ethic and diligence made him progress quickly from the Diploma to the B.A (Music and Society) program. He was polite, caring and a true testimony of his upbringing. Words cannot begin to describe how sorely Bobby will be missed. May your smile which brightened up the Conserve continue to brighten up the heavens. RIP Bobby.”
Police are investigating a case of murder but it is not yet known if the attack is an anti-LGBTI motivated hate crime.
Activist Thabiso Mogapi Oa Tsotetsi wrote on Facebook that he had struggled to obtain information about the killing.
“How does such cruel incident happen and everyone just goes mum about it especially LGBTI members within Tlokwe whom some even made him their display/profile pic, this is so unacceptable, those with the information please come forth so that we can get involved together with other partner organisations on LGBTI human rights,” he commented.
Motlatla is survived by his mother, and four siblings. Below is a tribute to him and his now snuffed-out talent.