Attack on Durban LGBTQI+ man by 11 men is a hate crime - CGE
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DURBAN - THE Commission for Gender Equality has urged the public to work with the police to find those responsible for crimes against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community.
This comes after a LGBTQI+ member was attacked last week along with his friends by 11 men. Andile Zondi, from Chesterville, and his friends were attacked by unknown men at midnight while they were on their way home after a party.
“When we left the party, we were walking and three men came and tried to rob one of my friends but there were five of us; they realised that they were outnumbered so they left us alone,” he said.
I do not feel safe any more, however, I can still remember the men who beat us up but I do not know their names.
He said as they continued walking the three men came back with eight more men out of nowhere, and started beating them up. “They started by beating up my friend and they came to me. I asked them what we did for them to just beat us up like that. They responded by saying (angeke siphathwe izitabane) we will not hear from gays.
“When I tried to reason with the one who was beating me up, three guys came and started kicking me even though I was bleeding,” he said.
Zondi said after the men assaulted them they took their cellphones, money and left them injured. He said he was grateful he was alive because some people did not survive such attacks. “It could have been worse; however, I am upset. We were born like this, we did not choose this life.
“I feel like the justice system has been failing us; there has to be consequences, so that people will think twice before trying to attack us.”
He said after being beaten up he was able to go home, and he went to a hospital for treatment.
“I do not feel safe any more, however, I can still remember the men who beat us up but I do not know their names,” he said.
Spokesperson for the Commission for Gender Equality Javu Baloyi said they condemned any form of violence against anyone, especially the community. “We would also like to continue to educate the public to accept the LGBTQI+ community and work with the police,” he said.
Last month The Mercury reported that at least eight people from the LGBTQI+ community in South Africa have been murdered in suspected hate crimes this year. Two of the murders took place in KwaZulu-Natal; Anele Bhengu and Siphamandla Khoza were found murdered in KwaMakhutha and Ntuzuma respectively.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm had been opened and is being investigated by Cato Manor police in connection with last week’s incident.