Paper slammed for lesbian photo

A gay rights group has lashed out at the Sunday Times for publishing a picture of four lesbians, after one of them was stoned to death in an apparent hate crime.

February 23, 2006

Gay Pride in the streets of Cape Town's townships
CAPE TOWN — Gay rights group Triangle Project has lashed out at the Sunday Times for publishing a picture of four lesbians, after one of them was beaten to death with bricks and golf clubs in an apparent hate crime.

The picture clearly revealed the identity of three lesbian friends of Zoliswa Nkonyana, 19, who was stoned to death for being lesbian by a gang of men in front of her stepfather outside her Khayelitsha home on February 4.

A 17-year-old school friend of Nkonyana's, who witnessed the hate crime, but managed to escape, is receiving counseling. She apparently fears for her life and is hiding at an undisclosed safe-house.

Despite warnings from Triangle Project of hate crimes against gay and lesbian people in the traditional township areas, the Sunday Times published the picture of Nkonyana along with three members of her lesbian football club.

The Triangle Project added that no consent was gained from the three for the photograph to be used.

"Publishing a photo of three lesbians, without their consent, accompanying an article on hate crimes against lesbians is highly irresponsible – especially considering that one of their friends was killed by a mob in their community," said Glenn de Swardt, Triangle Project spokesperson.

Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya responded, "Our intention was to highlight a crime against the gay community, and it was never our intention to cause further hurt. We're happy to correspond with the gay community on this issue."

The Triangle Project asserted that Nkonyana's death shows that violent crimes, such as rape or assault on the grounds of sexual orientation, remain a reality in Cape Town.

This week the Cape Town Pride Festival kicks off, culminating in the Pride March through the streets of Cape Town. This year's festival aims to take Gay Pride from the streets of Cape Town into the townships with its eLocation initiative.

Read story online. – Issued by Triangle Project

Related stories
Hate crimes against Gays & lesbians in Cape Town



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