Demanding justice for Motshidisi Melamu (Pic: Lerato Phalakatshela)
Mambaonline has been told that four suspects have been arrested for the murder and mutilation of lesbian matriculant Motshidisi Melamu in Evaton North.
According to Mr Mokwena, chairperson of the ANC in the area, the suspects, whom he described as young men, are undergoing DNA testing.
Melamu’s body was discovered in an open field near her home on 18 December. The young woman (aged 21) suffered brutal injuries and mutilations to her eyes, breasts and vagina and had been set on fire.
On Tuesday, members of the community and activists marched to the Mafatsana Police Station in Evaton North demanding justice for Melamu, who had recently passed matric, as well as other LGBTI hate crime victims in the area.
A memorandum was handed to the MMC for public safety and the station commander.
“We got a commitment from the police that the perpetrators will be convicted for this crime,” march organiser Cedric Davids, from the Young Communists’ League, told Mambaonline.
“What we also want to do is mobilise for our community to be visible when these guys appear in court, to show that we as a community won’t allow any hate crimes or corrective rapes in our area,” he said.
Davids applauded the individuals and groups that took part in the protest but noted that while church groups were invited, none attended. “Religion plays a big role in this and the churches need to come to the party,” he said.
According to Lerato Phalakatshela, Hate Crime Manager at OUT LGBT Well-being, activists are now waiting for feedback from the police.