Cape Town – Western Cape Community Safety and Liaison MEC Albert Fritz has welcomed the arrest of five suspects in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Liyabona Mabishi.
Mabishi was stabbed 13 times in Nkanini, Khayelitsha, on March 21, Human Rights Day.
At the time of the murder, it was suspected that the attack might be a hate crime related to Mabishi’s sexuality. During the attack, her friend had tried to intervene and was also stabbed. Mabishi died on route to a hospital, Fritz said in a statement.
“I have personally called Liyabona Mabishi’s mother and updated her on the investigation into the murder of her daughter. Upon hearing of the case, my office contacted Mabishi’s mother, obtained the case number and ensured the case was followed by the department’s court watching brief unit,” he said.
Fritz said he had been informed by the SAPS that while they currently did not have evidence of a hate crime, five people had been arrested for the murder and had appeared briefly in the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court.
Their next court appearance woill be on July 6 for a bail application. The State will oppose their bail application.
The SAPS had further advised that Mabishi was stabbed while walking with a group. It was suspected that her group had bumped into another one and a quarrel started, resulting in the attack on her. The murder weapons had been retrieved.
“Gender-based violence and homophobia have absolutely no place in our society. I condemn these acts in the strongest terms. Each of us has a right to equality and dignity, and a duty to stand up to and report such transgressions,” Fritz said.