Family seeks justice for Anele Bhengu’s rape and murder and hails swift arrest
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DURBAN - THE family of murdered KwaMakhutha woman Anele Bhengu has expressed satisfaction with the swiftness in which the suspect was apprehended.
The 39-year-old man, who cannot be named until he has formally pleaded, appeared in the Umbumbulu Magistrate’s Court on Monday, on charges of rape and murder. The matter was adjourned until June 30 for bail consideration.
Anele, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, was raped and stabbed repeatedly. Her throat and abdomen were also slit. Her murder was viewed as a hate crime.
Anele’s aunt Nontokozo Bhengu said she was pleased that the accused’s bail was opposed by the State.
“If there was a death penalty, we would have loved to see him being eliminated from the face of the earth. He has caused us immeasurable pain,” Bhengu said.
The murder was ruthless and the person responsible did not deserve to live in society, she added.
Director of the KwaZulu-Natal LGBT Hlengiwe Buthelezi said they were ready to go to the referendum, to hear people’s views on bringing back the death penalty.
“Firstly, the accused’s arrest pleased us. Our sector made a call and worked with the police. We heard in court that Cele has 29 counts of rape and murder, Anele’s was the 30th, and we are asking ourselves: What was he doing on our streets in the first place?” Buthelezi said.
Anele’s body was found dumped in the Durban south township last week.
She had left her home to visit a long time friend in the area on Friday, and on Sunday morning her friend came to her home to break the horrific news to the family.
She told them she had last seen Anele at about 9pm on Saturday, when she went outside to the toilet. Anele’s body was found dumped the following morning. She was laid to rest at the weekend.
Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza last week visited Bhengu’s family.
In April, Mvuyisi Noguda, 32, accused of stabbing an LGBTQI+ activist 21 times and leaving him for dead, with the blade lodged in his eye, in an apparent hate crime, was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment.
Noguda killed Lindokuhle Cele, 23, in February last year. Acting Judge Narini Hiralall, in sentencing, described the attack as hateful and savage.