Five arrested for murder of LGBTQ+ teen

Liyabona Mabishi. Picture: Facebook

The arrest of five individuals accused of murdering LGBTQ teen Liyabona Mabishi on Human Rights Day has been welcomed by the Western Cape government.

The 16-year-old was stabbed 13 times in Nkanini, Khayelitsha on Saturday 21 March. She was walking with an 18-year-old friend when she accidentally bumped into a man that was part of a group.

Despite apologising, the Grade 11 learner was allegedly assaulted by the men and repeatedly stabbed, with most of the wounds being inflicted to her face and neck.

Her friend, a male youth, tried to intervene and was also stabbed. Mabishi died on the way to the hospital while her friend survived.

“I have always kept her by my side fearing for her life. I feared that she might be a victim of ‘corrective rape’. I never thought she would be killed like this,” the teen’s mother, Philiswa Mabishi, told Daily Voice.

The Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, welcomed the five arrests made by the SAPS.

“I have personally called Liyabona Mabishi’s mother and updated her on the investigation into the murder of her daughter. Upon hearing of the case, my office contacted Mabishi’s mother, obtained the case number and ensured the case was followed by the Department’s Court Watching Brief Unit,” said Fritz.

“I was informed by SAPS that while they currently do not have evidence of a hate-crime, five people have been arrested for her murder and have appeared in Khayelitsha Court.”

Their next appearance is on 6 July for a bail application. The accused are currently in custody and the state will oppose their bail application.

At the time of her death, Mabishi was the fourth known member of the LGBTIQ+ community to be murdered in South Africa in 2020. More recently, internationally recognised queer dancer, choreographer and activist Kirvan Fortuin was stabbed to death, allegedly by a 14-year-old girl.

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