Cape Town - Police are investigating the alleged rape and murder of a 22-year-old gay man after his body was found with stab wounds on Sunday in Mau-Mau, Nyanga East.
Lonwabo Jack was allegedly killed on his birthday while out with friends.
His killing follows a protest by the LGBTQIA+ community on Friday at Parliament demanding the government take tangible action in the escalating hate crimes against queer people in South Africa.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said the circumstances surrounding the incident were being investigated with no arrests yet. Rwexana said allegations of rape also formed part of the investigation.
Lonwabo’s father Mzwabantu said the family last saw him on the day of his birthday on Saturday. He said the family believed that his body had been dumped at the spot where it was found.
“Lonwabo was a nice kid, he was always surrounded by his friends and liked fun and good times. He was a quiet kid and would not say some of the things he would experience because he felt like he could handle them just like any other man.
“However, when he told us that he was raped we knew as his parents that we had to take a stand. Having a gay child has taught us a valuable lesson,” he said.
Jack said the family was still distraught at the manner in which Lonwabo died.
“We also suspect that he was raped because his shorts were taken off. It’s heartbreaking to give birth to a child and also bury them, especially because he was never sick,” he said.
QueerLivesMatter movement representative Kamva Gwana said the movement was in shock at the brutality and gruesomeness inflicted on queer bodies and are crying out to the government to act.
Gwana said young people were dying in the most violent ways in this country for living their truth and officials are not bothered at this plight of this community.
“Hate crimes are perpetuated in this country we believe by the sustained intolerance towards our community by society at large.
“The is also a strong lack of institutional interventions by the government to prevent these crimes and a lack of representation and awareness towards our realities and needs as a community.
“Black queer identities live on the margins of respect in this country and are reduced to caricatures of entertainment in any visibility and representation given to us.
“We believe the intolerance suffered and violence against women in this country mimics the violence we have to endure with little to no recognition of our plight,” he said.
Gwana called on Parliament to hold an urgent debate on hate crimes and the realities of the LGBTQI+ community at large.