2013/07/08, Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko puts down flowers were the body of Duduzile Zozo was found in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni. Duduzile Zozo was raped and murdered in a hate crime because she was lesbian. Picture: Adrian de Kock

Johannesburg - Remnants of burnt candles on the ground are the only reminders of a brutal crime in an Ekurhuleni township.

Lodged between two walls - a house and perimeter wall - is the spot where 26-year-old lesbian Duduzile Zozo was found murdered on the morning of June 29 at her neighbour’s house in Thokoza.

Her own house is only about 10m away.

When her body was found, there was no bleeding, no bruises on the body, no strangulation marks around the neck and no signs of a struggle at the scene.

Her killers had shoved a toilet brush up her vagina.

Her mother Thuziwe believes her daughter’s murder was committed by homophobes.

Touched and enraged by Zozo’s death, the DA, led by its parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, visited the family on Monday and laid a wreath where the murdered woman was discovered.

Mazibuko also listened to Zozo’s friend, who said she lay where she was discovered for some time before the police finally arrived on the scene.

Bianca Laban, a transgender, told Mazibuko about the difficulties of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Thokoza, saying it wasn’t safe for them.

“What hurts is that it isn’t the first time that one of us is killed, and we don’t know what will happen after the burial. Gays and lesbians aren’t safe and I can’t run away from where I stay,” Laban said.

Mazibuko said Zozo’s mother was in a lot of pain and having a horrible time thinking of the violent way in which her daughter died.

She also said it was heart-breaking that the LGBT community were being treated as second-class citizens in their own country, whereas they had a right to live however they pleased as their rights were enshrined in the constitution.

She said the LGBT community should not have to be afraid of walking the streets at night for fear of violent acts perpetrated against them.

“I promise that we from the DA will do everything we can to bring to the government’s attention the plight of the LGBT community. We will do what we can to tell Duduzile’s story again and again, and also to honour those who died violently.”

Mazibuko, flanked by the party’s Free State leader, Patricia Kopane, said corrective rape was a huge problem, borne out of patriarchal perceptions.

She added that the government was not doing enough to address the issue.

The closest the government had come to doing something, she said, was when the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development set up a task team to examine the issue of corrective rape. But nothing had come of it.

“We need to address the stereotypical belief at the heart of this crime,” she added.

No one has been arrested for Zozo’s murder.

[email protected]

The Star