LESBIANS in Nyanga, in the Western Cape, are living in fear after a 19-year-old lesbian was stabbed to death in Samora Machel settlement in what they believe was a hate crime.
Sihle Sikoji, a member of Luleki Sizwe, a project that supports lesbian, bisexual and transgender women (LBT) who have been raped, was stabbed in the chest with a “mini-spear”.
Sikoji’s friend, who withheld her name, said three of them had been drinking at a tavern on Friday and ran out of money. She and Sikoji decided to walk to a friend’s house to get more.
On their way back, more than five men “came from nowhere” and told them: “This is not the place or the time for you to be walking here, it’s for us, Vooras.”
The Vooras is a feared gang in the area. “We just stood there in shock. One of them pulled out a mini-spear with a long blade and stabbed Sikoji once in the chest. She fell to the floor.”
The friend tried to intervene, but was stabbed in the arm. She held Sikoji for more than two hours while waiting for an ambulance. Sikoji later died at Mitchells Plain Hospital.
“They [attackers] didn’t ask for money or cellphones. Most men hate us around here; they say we are trying to take their girlfriends.
“We are now terrified to leave the house… they are still out there,” she said.
Police spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut, confirmed the incident.
He said no arrests had been made and the motive for the murder was still unknown. An investigation is under way.
A month ago, Sikoji’s friend, who was with them before the attack, was raped at gunpoint in the same area.
They believe she was a victim of so-called “corrective rape”. She has not reported the rape out of fear of the perpetrators, who are gangsters in the area.
Sikoji’s grandmother, Nomangesi Sikoji, 71, said she was heartbroken over the death of her “jovial” granddaughter.
“I looked at her once. Her eyes were closed as if she was sleeping… like she was going to wake up again,” she said.
Sikoji’s mother, Ntombizanele Sikoji, 36, was being comforted by relatives yesterday.
She said her daughter had been very fond of soccer. Luleki Sizwe founder, Ndumie Funda, said Sikoji was a “great help and would be irreplaceable” in the organisation.
“I am deeply hurt. We have lost another young lesbian who had great potential,” she said.
Funda urged “young and vulnerable” lesbians to be vigilant while walking in the townships.
“They need to take care of themselves and not advertise their sexuality to the community as we are still fighting homophobia. Being gay does not mean one has to be irresponsible. We are still under attack, therefore we have to be careful of where we socialise,” Funda said.