Mom tells of lesbian’s horror death

Published Jul 3, 2013



Johannesburg - For years, Thuziwe Zozo, 55, would be gripped with fear whenever she heard stories of lesbians being raped and killed in what has been termed corrective rape.

As a mother of a lesbian daughter, she always feared her daughter could fall victim to homophobes who might brutally attack her.

As time went by, her fears were allayed by the fact that her daughter was living openly as a gay person and that people in their Thokoza neighbourhood knew about her sexuality and didn’t seem to be bothered by it.

That was until Sunday morning, when 26-year-old Duduzile’s half-naked body was discovered at a house about 10m from her home. A toilet brush had been shoved up her vagina. The image has haunted Zozo since.

Not only does Zozo have to deal with the image in her mind for the rest of her life, but she is further aggrieved by the fact that the body was found next door.

The circumstances that led to the discovery of Duduzile’s body have left her family and neighbours puzzled.

A neighbour, believed to be Duduzile’s friend, at whose house the body was found, allegedly stopped his friends as they were walking past on Sunday morning, saying there was a body of someone he did not know in his yard.

A pained Zozo said she didn’t understand this.

“How could he say that? They knew each other, they were friends,” she said.

Captain Godfrey Maditsi, of the Thokoza police, said the neighbour was taken in for questioning and later released. There are no suspects at the moment.

“Her body was found outside the house and it looks like she was killed there. There was no sign of a struggle, and the post-mortem will establish the cause of death and also whether she had been raped,” Maditsi said.

“When you see reports on the killings of gay children, you get scared and start worrying. ‘Maybe one day this will also happen to her’, you think.

“And in the blink of an eye my child was killed. Parents with gay children will now be scared, and what can they do?

“They can’t change their children. The government is the one with the power and it must clarify to people that gay people are human beings too,” she said.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the murder of Duduzile was brutal, senseless and unacceptable.

“We urge the community to approach the police with any information that will lead to the arrest of people responsible for this barbaric act, so that they can face the full might of the law,” Mokonyane said.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Zozo family. Our prayers are with you,” she said.

Cosatu condemned violence against women and homosexuals.

“Cosatu is outraged at the continuing high level of violence against women and girls, and demands that no effort be spared to arrest whoever was responsible for this despicable murder,” spokesman Patrick Craven said. – Additional reporting by Sapa

Related Topics: