Lesbian murder: two in court

Time of article published Feb 25, 2010

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By Nondumiso Mbuyazi

Two men accused of raping and killing a KwaZulu-Natal lesbian in what her family and activists believe was a homophobic attack are expected to appear in court today.

Thokozani Qwabe's naked body was found in a field in Ezakheni township, Ladysmith, three years ago. She had multiple head wounds and her clothes were found discarded several metres from her body.

The two suspects were arrested late last year and were due to appear at the Ezakheni Magistrate's Court today for their bail application.

The Durban Lesbian and Gay Community Health Centre said yesterday that it believed Qwabe, 23, had been raped and killed because of her sexual orientation.

"We believe the men who made advances to her the night before (the murder), must have done so primarily to spite her, before killing her for being a lesbian," said Nomcebo Thungo of the centre.

Thungo said the centre was appalled by ongoing hate crimes against lesbians and gays in South Africa, especially in communities that they had believed to have a better sense of humanity, like Ladysmith.

Qwabe's family yesterday said that after reporting the matter to the police, they hoped the investigation would lead to a successful conviction.

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