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Cape Town - Six young lesbians from Gugulethu fear for their lives after they were attacked and beaten. None of the women wanted to be identified for fear of further victimisation.
One of the women, 22, told the Cape Argus that the friends made their usual “snack” stop at a petrol station in Gugulethu in the early hours of Sunday after leaving what she described as a gay-friendly club.
Without provocation, a man charged towards the group and started punching one of her friends, the woman said.
“He punched her until she was down on the ground. He kicked her in the face until blood trickled down her forehead. He slapped, shoved and punched anyone who tried to intervene… he was so strong; we felt powerless.”
She said the guy looked “angry and energetic, as if he was on drugs”. He then turned on some of the other women in the group. While he was beating the women, he allegedly shouted: “These f***ing lesbians, we must beat them up until they stop.”
The 22-year-old said that after what seemed like hours, he got into his car and drove off.
“We just stood there helplessly. The sad part is a group of guys watched and didn’t do anything to help.
“I don’t know where all that hate was coming from. I am scared to go out now. As a lesbian I feel like a walking target.”
The six friends have opened a case of assault at the Gugulethu police station.
Two of the injured women ended up at the Gugulethu Day Hospital.
One of them is a 19-year-old matric pupil. She told the Cape Argus that when she saw her friend not moving on the ground, she tried to intervene.
“She was just lying there not moving. I bent down to check on her… When I saw blood… I knew we were in serious trouble,” she said.
Despite a swollen face and a fresh scar above her eye, the matric pupil wrote her English exam on Monday.
“I am still shaken. I never thought something like this would happen to me… we didn’t do anything to provoke him. We hope justice is done so that this guy can’t hurt anyone else,” she said.
Pumeza Runeyi, a witness and member of Free Gender, a black lesbian organisation based in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, said she felt helpless watching the attack.
“No one could stop him. If that guy had a gun he would have killed someone that night.
“It was if he held a grudge against them. I am angry and want to see justice done,” said Runeyi.
Of the club, she said: “It’s the only gay-friendly club we can go to in the township. It’s obvious we are not safe anywhere,” she said.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut was not in a position to comment on the case on Thursday afternoon