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KZN LGBT community raises concerns about their safety after an increase in murders of LGBT people in the province

Twenty-three-year-old Limakatso Puling was shot and killed in Avoca Hills on Tuesday. She will be buried on Saturday in Matatiele.

Twenty-three-year-old Limakatso Puling was shot and killed in Avoca Hills on Tuesday. She will be buried on Saturday in Matatiele.

Published Oct 18, 2021

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DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community has raised concerns regarding their safety after the rapid growth in the number of murders of LGBT people in the province.

This comes after a 23-year-old lesbian, Limakatso Puling, was shot and killed in Avoca Hills on Tuesday. She will be buried on Saturday in Matatiele.

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This comes shortly after the death of Sifiso Mxolisi Shange, who was killed in Johannesburg, allegedly for being gay. Shange was apparently shot twice. He was buried on Saturday.

KZN LGBT director Hlengiwe Buthelezi said she was shaken by the killings.

“I honestly do not know what more could be done. I am numb and speechless. We are attending funerals week after week. I attended Mxolisi Shange’s funeral on Saturday and it saddens me that next week I will be attending another funeral of a lesbian woman who was shot and killed in Avoca Hills. It is shocking how far hatred could go.”

She said they were living in fear and had lost hope in the police.

“Shange was assaulted and killed in broad daylight in Johannesburg and everyone claims they didn’t see what happened or who did it. I am honestly disappointed by the people of this country. There is no way. Someone must have seen or heard something but because he was gay we are told no one saw anything? How can gay people live freely and safely under such circumstances?

“I keep asking myself, am I next? My wife and I live together and we are constantly on our toes because we are not sure when our door will be kicked in and we will be killed like pigs. If our people can be slaughtered during daylight then anything is possible.”

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She said the sector was in shock that such incidents were happening and they were ready for the referendum to bring back the death penalty.

“I cannot believe we have to go through such things regardless of all the awareness that has been done to educate people. Just a few weeks ago I personally spoke to President Cyril Ramaphosa when he came out for door-to-door campaigns in the province.

“I urged him to do something to protect our people and he promised to do something and nothing has happened. Our people still die like their lives are meaningless. We propose the change to the judicial system. In one word, we are ready to go to the referendum. Bring back the death penalty. We are tired.”

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