Lerato Tambai Moloi lived in Naledi, Soweto. She wasn't affluent, well educated or well-known. In fact, Lerato was just an ordinary 27-year-old woman going about her business. The only thing about Lerato that was not completely ordinary was the fact that she was a lesbian.
Nobody really knows much about Lerato's life, but from the little that can be pieced together from earlier newspaper reports, she had a loving family and a good home life. So it must have come as a complete shock when they were sent pictures via social media of a young woman who had been murdered in their area and recognised their beloved child.
Lerato was last seen in the early hours of Sunday, May 14, 2016, at the Gift’s Inn tavern with a 38-year-old man. Nobody knows exactly what happened but Lerato's partially-clad body was found on a piece of open veld in Naledi on later the same day. She had been stoned to death after being sexually assaulted.
Two men have been arrested for Lerato's murder and the case is still ongoing, but her family is devasted by the manner of her death and the way the images of her body were passed around.
What makes Lerato's death even more shocking is that she was the third woman murdered in the same area on that weekend. Popi Gumede, 24, and 28-year-old Bongeka Phungula, two friends who had recently moved to the neighbourhood from KwaZulu-Natal, were raped before they were killed. Gumede’s body was found on Friday in Naledi and Phungula's the next day in Tladi.
While the wheels of justice turn, Lerato's mother and the rest of her family must come to grips with the brutal and senseless death of the young woman whose only "crime" appears to have been her sexuality.
Lerato will never celebrate another Women's Month, birthday or Christmas. She will never get the chance to see the dreams she had for herself fulfilled.
For Lerato's sake and the sake of women everywhere, if you know somebody who has committed an act of violence against a woman Don't Look Away.
If you know a young woman's life is in danger, Do n't Look Away.
If you are able to help prevent another tragedy, Don't Look Away.
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