Police dragging feet

2018-05-24 06:01
Captain Sizwe Tyala signing the memorandum while the founder of the Free Gender, Funeka Soldaat looking on.PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

Captain Sizwe Tyala signing the memorandum while the founder of the Free Gender, Funeka Soldaat looking on.PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

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Members of Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexed(LGBTI) community organisation marched to the Delft police station on Saturday, with a list of demands and a memorandum for the speedy arrest in the case of slain lesbian Okuhle Bixa.

At the time of her death, Okuhle,31, -a salon owner- was shot and her had cellphone stolen by an unknown gunman while walking home with a friend in Delft.

Her uncle had said she was killed just as the family was preparing to bury young Bunono Bixa,4, who met his death at the hands of an uncle.

It has now emerged that Okuhle may have been killed because she was a lesbian.

Funeka Soldaat, founder of Free Gender organisation based in Khayelitsha, described the march as a way to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with how the Delft police have handled the Bixa investigation.

“We chose Delft because we wanted to come to the police station to find out about the progress in the case of Okuhle.

And we gave the police a memorandum and we want a response within 30 days. But we are also commemorating all the gays and lesbians who were killed because of hate crime. And we want to emphasise that as the LGBTI community, we are also human beings and we have rights and we need to be respected. People must understand that even gays and lesbians are born by straight parents,” she said.

The marchers carried placards that read: “he was killed in 2012 and justice was never done”, and “We don’t have patients(sic) anymore”, among others.

Captain Sizwe Tyala promised to forward the memorandum to the station commissioner, Brigadier Phindiwe Ntungela.

Some of the organisations present included the Triangle Project, Inclusive and Affirming Ministries, Desmond Tutu Foundation, Free Gender, Care for Men, Treatment Action Campaign, the Commission for Gender Equality and the Aids Legal Network.

The march coincided with the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, organisations that aim to coordinate international events to raise awareness of LGBTI rights violations and stimulate interest in fight for the LGBTI community worldwide.

As they left the police station, the marchers proceeded to the Delft Civic Centre, to celebrate their program.

Soldaat, the day was meant to raise awareness about LGBT rights and fight against discrimination and killing.

“We want to send the statement to the communities that they must stop harassing and killing us. They must know that we are part of the community and they must accept us,” she said.

Soldaat chastised the police for dragging their feet in investigating hate crimes against LGBTI.

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