Gay Durban man Sphamandla Khoza slashed to death in suspected hate crime

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Sphamandla Khoza was murdered in a suspected hate crime

Sphamandla Khoza was murdered in a suspected hate crime

As the LGBTQ community welcomed the conviction of Lindo Cele’s killer on Tuesday, a new horrific queer murder in KZN has come to light.

Sphamandla Khoza, a gay man from Inanda in Durban, was reportedly stabbed to death in a suspected LGBTQ hate crime.

According to multiple social media reports, Khoza, 34, was beaten, stabbed and had his throat slit by an unconfirmed number of assailants. It’s understood that at least one man has been arrested in connection with the horror killing.

Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Acting Programmes Manager for the Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre, told MambaOnline that details surrounding the murder are still unclear.

“We can’t confirm yet if it was a hate crime but the brutality of the crime suggests that it was indeed a hate crime,” she said.

Mkhize, who is also Co-Chair of the KZN Task Team on Hate Crimes Against LGBTI People, said that it’s also unclear how many suspects were involved but one man turned himself in to the police on Monday and led officers to the scene of the crime and Khoza’s body.

She called on members of the community in Inanda who have information about the attack to come forward to the authorities.

Writing on Facebook, Ndumiso Daluxolo Ngidi, a relative of Khoza, said he was devastated by the young man’s death.

“His crime was to live openly as a gay man. Yes, Spha died because someone hated his sexuality so much that they decided to end his life,” said Ngidi.

“As a child, Spha was full of life. He commanded attention with his infectious laugh and random dance moves. He always managed to get us all into trouble because he dared go where adults said we shouldn’t. A leader of the pack in so many ways.”

Ngidi described the adult Khoza as hardworking, caring and committed to his partner and all his friends.

“Today that beautiful soul has been stolen. He died because he chose to be himself, to live his freedom in a country that is supposed to protect him. He died because hate blinds humanity so much that you’d rather remove a soul than to forge constructive ways of co-existing. Such is the daily reality of queer people,” said Ngidi.

On Tuesday, the Durban High Court sentenced Mvuyisi Noguda to 25 years in prison for stabbing 23-year-old queer musician Lindo Cele to death in February 2020. Judge Narini Hiralall described Cele’s murder as a “hateful and savage attack.”

Sphamandla Khoza is a relative and an important person in my childhood. As a cousin, we bonded after losing my father…

Posted by Ndumiso Daluxolo Ngidi on Wednesday, March 31, 2021

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