Hate crimes against Gays & lesbians in Cape Town

Glenn de Swardt | February 23, 2006

CAPE TOWN — Triangle Project appreciates the co-operation of the Sunday Times in exposing hate crimes against the gay and lesbian community in Cape Town (19 February 2006), after we alerted them to the murder of a lesbian teen in Cape Town on 4 February 2006.

We have long contested that discrimination and prejudice on the grounds of sexual orientation are endemic among large sectors of Cape Town society, particularly in traditional township areas. Verbal abuse and taunting are regular expressions of prejudice that gay and lesbian people experience on an ongoing basis at schools, at their workplaces, when using public transport or when socialising. Violent crimes, such as rape or assault on the grounds of sexual orientation, remain a reality in Cape Town.

We are pleased to announce that the second victim involved in the incident, a seventeen year-old lesbian who managed to escape and thus avoided being stoned to death, is in a safe place and is receiving counselling.

We are in direct contact with the investigating officer who is conducting the investigation into the murder and assault. We congratulate the S.A.P.S. on the arrest of six suspects, aged between seventeen and nineteen, allegedly involved in the brutal attack.

We urge the media to pay due diligence to the ethical dynamics of outing individuals, either directly or through association, without their express consent.

We call on all responsible people, particularly those in leadership positions, to denounce discrimination and violence on the grounds of sexual orientation and to call for greater tolerance of diversity.

We assert that anyone who condones or endorses homoprejudice, either directly or indirectly, needs to be held accountable for the pain, suffering, harm or loss suffered by others as a result of such prejudice. – Issued by Triangle Project

Triangle Project is the oldest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender service organisation in in Africa, celebrating our 25th anniversary in February 2006.

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