Durban - An LGBTQI gender activist was stabbed multiple times in full view of the public at an uMlazi butchery last week in what his family believes is a hate crime.
The 23-year-old Lindokuhle Cele was a well-known lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTI) activist and musician.
According to his aunt, Nombuso Cele, the suspect, who has been arrested, “hated” Cele because he was gay.
Nombuso said on the day of the incident, Cele went to the local butchery close to his home to buy meat.
She said that while he was waiting at the store, a taxi pulled over and a man jumped out and went straight to Cele and started stabbing him.
“He was crying for help and asking why he was being stabbed. He begged and apologised to the suspect, but he continued stabbing him all over his face and back.
“He cried while the man continued to stab him in the most brutal manner,” said Nombuso.
Lindokuhle Cele. Picture: Supplied
Nombuso said she was devastated by the fact that the suspect continued to stab her nephew even when he was begging for his life.
“According to witnesses, Lindokuhle said: ‘I don’t know what I have done wrong but I’m sorry’ and even that didn’t deter the suspect.”
She said the incident happened while people were watching, but no one intervened.
“We really wish to know why our child was killed in this manner. Based on what we heard, the man hated Lindo-
kuhle because he was gay.”
The suspect fled and Cele was rushed to Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital where he died.
“We are pleading with the communities to learn to accept other people, and respect how they want to live their lives. To us, Lindokuhle was our child, we loved him for who he was. He was a very loving person and loved music. He enjoyed being around friends and family.
“We are deeply hurt as a family and his death leaves a big hole that won’t be filled,” she said.
Anthony Waldhausen, director of the Gay and Lesbian Network, said there was an increase in hate crimes against gays and lesbians in the country.
“We are very concerned about this. Even though we have a Constitution that protects everyone, we are still having these cases, fights and discrimination. The government needs to try to get to the bottom of this,” said Waldhausen.
Waldhausen pleaded with the public to stop the killing and to accept people for who they were.
“Being gay and lesbian is normal, people need to understand that.”
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed the incident, saying a case of murder was opened at Bhekithemba police station.
Gwala said a 30-year-old man was arrested a day after the incident and would appear in the uMlazi Magistrate’s Court on Monday.