Gay-bashing incident at top Cape varsity

2012-10-31 08:32

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Cape Town - One of the Western Cape’s biggest universities has been accused of homophobia after a transgender student was beaten up at the entrance of a student residence.

A crowd gathered to watch the violent assault on Sunday while a security guard stood by, watching the incident but not doing anything, reported TimesLive.

Gay rights activist Glenton Matthyse said he had had enough of homophobic and “transphobic” behaviour on campus.

Matthyse and two other transgender students who all belonged to support group Gayla-UWC, were hurt when they tried to fight off three attackers.

Matthyse said one friend was grabbed from behind, "She fell to the ground and then [her attacker] dragged her for 2m from the entrance and began a severe physical assault." 

"His two friends pitched in and assisted in assaulting her. I tried to stop them and so did my friends. My legs were covered in blood after they were done with her. We were no match for them," said Matthyse who later added that he was now living in fear of the attackers returning.

The incident began on Saturday night at the university pub where Matthyse and friends, who were dressed in drag, used the men’s toilet and were verbally abused by patrons, who then followed them to their residence where the beating took place.

A university spokesperson, Luthando Tyhalibongo, said an investigation would we held and said the university did not condone violence or any kind of discrimination.

He said staff and security broke up the fight, and claimed Gayla UWC members insulted the guards.

Tyhalibongo claimed Matthyse and his friends were drunk and unruly, and because of this, police were unable to take statements from them.

Matthyse said he and his friends were not unruly.

"A Constable Smith, from Bellville South police station, grinned and chuckled when I tried to explain what happened.

"When I asked him about this he said it was a form of 'stress relief'."

Read more on:    uwc  |  cape town  |  gay rights

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