JWG calls for justice in Hate Crime cases in Sept

The Gauteng and Northern Provinces Regional Final

September 17, 2009

JOHANNESBURG — The last two weeks of September see the return to court of two Hate Crimes cases involving the brutal murders of two young lesbian women. Sandwiched between three Pride events taking place in the country are the Eudy Simelane murder case in court on the 21st and 22nd and the Zoliswa Nkonyana case in court from the 28th September.

It is ironic that both cases return to court within a short time of the reports over the weekend relating to the new National Interfaith Leadership Council and its plans to roll back progressive legislation affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people among others. It is obscene that at a time when LGBTI people are facing ever increasing levels of abuse and violence at the hands of society, anyone would suggest removing what legal and constitutional protection does exist.

The Eudy Simelane case will return to Delmas on the 21st and 22nd of September for final arguments and judgement on the three men standing trial for the rape and murder of the lesbian soccer star. This case was turned on its head by the shocking decision of the main state witness to change his testimony and this has cast a shadow over proceedings since. It is vital that the case be wrapped up over the two days set down so that Eudy's family and community can begin to move on. A pride march in honour of Eudy and Girly Nkosi another lesbian activist killed in the same area just a few weeks ago will be held this Saturday the 19th through the streets of Kwa Thema.

On the 28th of September the men accused of brutally murdering teenager Zoliswa Nkonyana will appear in court in Khayeleitsha once again. It is the first hearing in this much delayed case since the mass protest through the streets of Cape Town in August. Although the case was for legal reasons not moved to the High Court as protesters had demanded a number of commitments were made by the relevant authorities around ensuring this case moved ahead without further delays. The 28th will be the first opportunity to see if these commitments will indeed be honoured.

Members of the Joint Working Group and the 070707 Campaign will be out in force at both cases demanding justice for Eudy, justice for Zoliswa and an end to homophobic hate! – Issued by JWG

  • Joint Working Group, established in 2003, is a national network of 24 organisations of and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (hereinafter referred to as LGBTI people) in South Africa representing the organised LGBTI sector, acting and speaking in the interest of our respective and diverse constituencies. We exist to advance and promote the rights of LGBTI people through constructive dialogue and collaboration, social mobilisation, public education to strengthen positive expressions, advocacy and research.

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