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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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Umlazi lesbian stabbed to death for rejecting a man’s romantic advances

Pinky Shongwe who was killed by a man who demanded to have a relationship with her despite being a lesbian. Picture: Supplied

Pinky Shongwe who was killed by a man who demanded to have a relationship with her despite being a lesbian. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 17, 2022


DURBAN - The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual + (LGBTQIA +) community has been left shocked by yet another murder of one of their own.

Lesbian Pinky Shongwe, 32, from Umlazi was stabbed to death by a man who was making romantic advances which she rejected.

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Shongwe’s body was discovered this week.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Nqobile Gwala said a case of murder was opened by Umlazi police for investigation after a 32-year-old female was allegedly stabbed. She said the victim left home to go to a local shop but was stabbed multiple times by an unknown suspect.

“She was found lying on the road and was taken to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries on arrival. The motive of the killing is unknown and the matter is still under investigation,” said Gwala.

This is the second incident in two years in Umlazi where residents have been murdered because of their sexual orientation. LGBTQIA+ activist, Lindo Cele was stabbed 21 times at K section by Mvuyisi Noguda who was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment last year for the hate crime.

Executive director of KZN LGBT Recreation, Hlengiwe Buthelezi, said she was shocked to hear of the incident, saying she personally knew Pinky and they’d played against each other in soccer. She said the victim was the 23rd member of LGBTQIA+ community to be killed in eThekwini since 2020. Buthelezi said in her capacity as the ANC provincial convener of women who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community would discuss the matter with the party provincial leadership.

Pinky Shongwe who was killed for being lesbian in Umlazi. Picture: Supplied

The victim’s sister Khethiwe Shongwe, said her sister had gone to a nearby shop when she was confronted by an unknown man who stopped and proposed love. She said she was home on the South Coast when she received a call that her sister had been stabbed, adding she was rushed to hospital but the family was told she had died on arrival.

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Khethiwe said her sister had chosen to live her life openly as a lesbian, and her family and neighbours knew that she was lesbian. She said she did know whether the perpetrator was from the area, as no one had come forward with information about him.

When the Daily News visited the family it had already left for its rural home of Gcilima outside Port Shepstone on the South Coast where she will be buried at the weekend.

KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has urged the court to impose heavy sentences on gender-based violence perpetrators.

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Khoza was reacting to Shongwe’s murder.

The MEC’s spokesperson Mhlaba Memela told the Daily News on Wednesday that the MEC has strongly condemned the incident and said she was urging the court to set an example and impose a heavy sentence on perpetrators which she believed would serve as a deterrent to the never-ending gender-based violence in this country.

“We are very disturbed to hear of another brutal murder of a lesbian woman. We are angry after our department has done a lot of public awareness campaigns to teach people to accept and live side by side with gays and lesbians. We have been telling people that gay and lesbian rights were protected by the Constitution. We believe it is high time that our courts start treating this violence differently, and not be lenient when sentencing the perpetrators,” said the MEC.

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He added that the department would dispatch social workers to the family to give it support, including counselling.

Daily News