A man has allegedly raped his lesbian ex-girlfriend in Pretoria in an incident being described as a case of “corrective rape”.
The Citizen reports that the 24-year-old woman was allegedly raped by her former male partner, a 25-year-old man from the Central African Republic.
According to Police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela, the woman and her friend went to a flat in Sunnyside, where they met her ex-boyfriend and the friend’s boyfriend.
While the couple were out buying food, leaving behind the former couple at the flat, the man told the lesbian woman that homosexuality was an abomination in his home country. He then allegedly raped her and attempted to impregnate her.
“It is unacceptable that the suspect, in spite of the victim reportedly having made it clear to him that she no longer dated men, allegedly saw fit to enforce his own cultural beliefs on a vulnerable woman,” Sunnyside station commander Brigadier Ramakamakama Kekana told the Citizen.
“People must understand that when you are in Rome, you do as the Romans do. Same-sex interaction is not an atrocity in Sunnyside – rape is,” he said.
The man has since been arrested.
“Corrective rape” is a term for when lesbian women are raped, and often murdered, in order to “teach them a lesson” or punish them for not behaving or presenting themselves according to social or cultural norms.
A recent hate crime study by OUT and the Love Not Hate campaign found that 41% of LGBT people in South Africa know someone who’s been murdered due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The report also found that 7% of LGBT people had been punched, hit, kicked or beaten; 7% experienced violence from a family member; and 6% had been raped or sexually abused.
Late last year, the Department of Justice released draft legislation to formalise hate crimes as a distinct form of crime. The bill remains under consideration with no indication of when a revised version incorporating input submitted from the public will be published.