Durban - A 28-year-old man who allegedly butchered and murdered Andile Ntuthela and dumped his body in a shallow grave is expected to appear in an Eastern Cape court in a bail hearing that is expected to cast the spotlight homophobia linked hate crimes in South Africa.
It is believed that Nthuthela, 40, - also known as Lulu - was murdered because he was gay.
Scores of LGBTQ activists are expected to descend on the Kwanobuhle Magistrates’ Court today where the suspect will appear amid a rallying call gaining traction on social media under the hashtag, JusticeForLulu.
According to police, Nthuthela’s body was found 11 days after he was allegedly murdered as the suspect was hospitalised “for his mental condition”.
Eastern Cape police spokesman, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that is alleged that on March 31, the suspect burnt his bedding at his house in Matana Street in Kwanobuhle.
“On 1 April 2021 , the family reported the malicious damage to property to police and indicated that they were suspicious that he may have been involved in some other criminal activity,” Naidu said.
She said police went to the house and found blood stains inside his room as well as outside.
“On 1 April 2021 until the 9 April 2021, the suspect was hospitalised for his mental condition. On his discharge from hospital, he was arrested and detained for the malicious damage to property. While detectives were questioning him, information emerged relating to the murder of Andile Ntuthela. Ntuthela was gay. On Saturday, 10 April 2021 police went back to the house with the necessary roleplayers and the body of Ntuthela was found buried in the yard,” Naidu said.
The 28 year old suspect appeared in the Uitenhage magistrates’ court on Monday,12 April 2021 on the charge of malicious damage to property and will be appearing today in the Kwanobuhle Magistrate’s Court for the murder of Ntuthela.
“The murder is suspected to be LGBTQI linked,” Naidu said.
Another queer mercilessly murdered. SA is bleeding queer people, literally. It could easily be one of us next. We are walking deaths waiting to happen. This is heartbreaking and a lived reality for queer bodies. I’m heartbroken and petrified. RIP Lulu #justiceforlulu https://t.co/28CUCK2Aj3— NOT a Dr, Dhlamini (@Melusi_MD) April 12, 2021
Sibonelo Ncanana-Trower, a spokespeson for the Nelson Mandela Bay LGBTI sector said Nthuthela was loved dearly by the community and his family.
The sector is deeply worried about Lulu's murder and would like that the heavy might of law be felt by the killer. The sector would also want to wish Lulu's family and friends peace in this difficult time. We call on the community to not be silent on such cases and to speak out. The Sector notes the increase in crimes of hate in the country and calls on government to intervene and work with the sector in engaging the community. Hate crimes don't only affect the victim and family, it affects the whole community in a negative way,“ Ncanana-Trower said.
A candle light prayer, to celebrate Lulu's life will be held on Thursday, the Sector said.
Gay hatred is one of the most senseless and evil things I've ever witnessed. How does one's sexual orientation offend you to the point of killing them?Black Gay men deal with being hated by whiteness for being black and hated by black society for being gay💔💔 #JusticeForLulu pic.twitter.com/SyKviJPVUp— @Rev_Mente (@Rev_Mente) April 13, 2021