A school teacher from Robertson in the Western Cape says he was assaulted by a parent because he complained about homophobic comments made by the man’s child.
The Cape Times reported that Thando Dyamara had only recently started teaching at the Masakheke Combined School when the attack took place.
According to Dyamara, the assault was sparked by one of the students calling him a “moffie”.
He reprimanded the child and reported the incident to his mother, who he claims was rude and shouted at him. She also allegedly threatened that her husband would “deal with” him.
When he came face to face with the man, things did not go well. “I called the police to report a case of discrimination. Her husband appeared out of nowhere and smacked me with an open palm,” alleges Dyamara.
He also claims that the man, who was a member of the school’s student governing body (SGB), pulled out a knife and threatened to stab him.
Dyamara says that the abuse has traumatised him. “Members of the LGBTI Plus community are not given the respect they need and deserve. The community, especially in Nqubela, even though it is diverse, needs to respect gay people,” he said.
Writing on his Facebook page, Dyamara further commented: “The LGTBIQA+ community is not safe in South Africa. Our brothers and sisters are attacked, raped and murdered on the basis of their sexual orientation. Yet the Government only recognize the LGTBIQA+ community only when it’s necessary.”
The school has condemned the incident and confirmed that the allegedly homophobic parent has resigned from the SGB. A case of assault has been opened with the police.
Towns in the Winelands region of the Western Cape have a history of LGBTIQ incidents, some of them deadly.
In 2017, 26-year-old Enrico “Tamara” van der Merwe from Worcester, was raped, stabbed more than 27 times and strangled to death before being dumped naked in a field.
Also in 2017, a young gay man from Ceres, identified as ‘M’, was gang-raped by a group of men after they called him a “moffie naaier”.
In December 2015, 30-year-old Phoebe Titus, a transgender hairdresser in the town of Wolseley, was knifed to death by a 15-year-old youth in broad daylight.
Twenty-two-year-old gay man David Olyne was murdered in Ceres in March 2014 in a brutal homophobic murder in which he was tied with wire, beaten, kicked and set on fire as a group of youths watched on.