Fury over another postponement in lesbian murder case

2009-08-28 16:02

A LESBIAN and gay rights organisation is furious after the postponement of

judgment in the case of three men accused of killing lesbian activist and former

national soccer player Eudy Simelane.

The case against Khubulane Magagula, Johannes Mahlangu and Thabo Mvubu

resumed in the Delmas circuit of the Pretoria high court on Wednesday.

Today, judgement was postponed yet again, angering Lesbian and Gay Equality

Project executive director, Phumi Mtetwa, who has been following the case.

“It is really disappointing that the case was postponed again. We are sick

and tired of coming back to this court. We need justice for our sister and it is

important that the three men are convicted,” said Mtetwa.

Mtetwa and other gay and lesbian activists have been in court since the trial

started on Wednesday, intent on seeing the trial through to the end.

Now they will have to wait until September 21 when the court is expected to

give judgement.

The court heard from numerous witnesses, including state witness Thatho Phiti

(35), of KwaThema near Springs, who admitted to having taken part in Simelane’s


Simelane’s body was discovered in a ditch near her KwaThema home in April

last year. She had been raped and stabbed to death.

When Phiti heard police were looking for him, he handed himself in and


He was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to charges of

murder, robbery and attempted rape.

Mtetwa said this case is one of only two cases involving the murder of black

lesbians from a township to have reached court, despite there being over 30

known cases across South Africa that involve the rape, assault and murder of

lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

“This case acknowledges that there are people out there who are still being

killed because they are different,” said Mtetwa.

She said activists have been protesting for years about hate crimes and

called for measures to recognise and stop the growing trend.

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