Shock as queer woman Lulama Mvandaba murdered in Khayelitsha


Lulama Mvandaba is the 14th known LGBTIQ+ individual killed in South Africa since 12 February

In a further devastating blow to the LGBTIQ+ community, it’s been reported that Khayelitsha lesbian Lulama Mvandaba has been murdered in the Western Cape.

On Saturday, Mvandaba’s heartbroken brother wrote on Facebook that his eldest sister had been killed “due to her sexuality and as a member of the LGBTQI+ community”.

According to her Facebook profile, Mvandaba was a volunteer facilitator at a youth and community health project.

“To those who knew her vivacious energy and warmth, we extend our heartfelt condolences to you all. We are extremely shocked and traumatised as a family and can only imagine how all the kids she touched during her career will be feeling,” said Mvelisi Veli Mvandaba.

Daily Voice reported that Mvandaba’s body was found in her home days after being beaten in an attack at a local shebeen because she complained when someone took her beer.

Not only was she then assaulted in the street, her right breast was also reportedly burned when “she was hit with burning wood,” her girlfriend Caroline Ngcawe told the publication. It’s suspected that she later died of her injuries at home.

Mvandaba is the 14th known LGBTIQ+ individual killed in South Africa since 12 February; most recently 28-year-old Anele Bhengu and 28-year-old Masixole Level.

Bhengu’s body was discovered along the roadside in Kwamakhutha, KwaZulu-Natal this past weekend. She had been stabbed and disembowelled. In the Eastern Cape, Level’s body was found on a street in Kwazakhele in Gqeberha on Sunday 6 June.

The government continues to offer no concrete action plan to tackle the crisis while the Hate Crimes Bill remains in limbo.

Here are the other known victims of the LGBTIQ+ murders that have shaken South Africa since 12 February 2021:

  • Bonang Gaelae, 29, whose throat was slashed in Sebokeng on 12 February.
  • Nonhlanhla Kunene, 37, whose body was found half naked in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg on 5 March.
  • Sphamandla Khoza, 34, who was beaten, stabbed and had his throat slit on 29 March in Kwamashu, Durban.
  • Nathaniel ‘Spokgoane’ Mbele, who was stabbed in the chest in Tshirela, Vanderbijlpark on 2 April.
  • Khulekani Gomazi, 27, who was beaten to death on 3 April in Mpophomeni in KwaZulu-Natal after being accused of sexual assault.
  • Andile ‘Lulu’ Nthuthela, 41, whose mutilated and burned body was found on 10 April in KwaNobuhle, Kariega.
  • Lonwabo Jack, a young LGBTIQ+ individual who had just celebrated his 22nd birthday on 17 April. His lifeless body was found on a pavement the next day in Nyanga, Cape Town.
  • Lucky Kleinboy Motshabi, 30, whose body was found in a field in the town of Dennilton, Limpopo on 24 April. He was naked with stab wounds on his body.
  • Phelokazi Mqathana, 24, who was stabbed to death on the weekend of 1 May in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. It was reported that a man stabbed her after she rejected his advances.
  • Lindokuhle Mapu, 23, who was stabbed to death in Mfuleni, outside of Cape Town, on 9 May.
  • Aubrey Boshoga, 48, whose body was dumped outside his house in Johannesburg on 29 May.

Supporters and allies are urged to sign the online petition demanding action against LGBTIQ+ hate and violence in South Africa.

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