Activists protest over corrective rape

2011-03-15 11:06

Cape Town - Rights activists are speaking out against rapes targeting lesbians in South Africa.

About 25 demonstrators rallied outside Parliament on Monday while their leaders met with government representatives.

Luleki Sizwe, which means "guide a nation", a small group of lesbian activists in the townships of Cape Town, also circulated an online petition calling on Justice Minister Jeff Radebe "to address 'corrective rape', the increasingly common hate crime in which men rape lesbian women to 'turn' them straight or 'cure' them of their sexual orientation".

In three months, the organisation gathered more than 170 000 signatures around the world. The online campaign also led thousands to send e-mails to Radebe.

Luleki Sizwe founder Ndumie Funda said: "We have shown that we can mobilise tens of thousands of people in South Africa and around the world, and the ministry now knows that they can no longer ignore our long fight against corrective rape. The question now is what they will actually do about it. The ball is in their court."


Activists are pushing the ministry to set up a commission to research, develop and implement a national plan to address sexual violence, violence that targets lesbians and gays and hate crimes.

"We want the government to label corrective rape ... as a hate crime," said Eugene Brockman, one of the demonstrators at Parliament.

Same-sex marriage is legal in South Africa and the country has among the most liberal laws on sexual orientation on a continent where many others ban gay sex. But the rapes in South Africa are a brutal sign that cultural attitudes remain deeply conservative.

The most notorious cases include the 2008 death of Eudy Simelane, a star on South Africa's women's national soccer team. Simelane, a lesbian, was gang-raped, beaten and stabbed. Two men were jailed, while two others were acquitted in the attack.

  • Adam Kane - 2011-03-15 11:23

    "Corrective Rape"? How the hell does the media find the bad sense to string those two words together? If this isn't proof of insensitive and deplorable sensationalist headlining then I don't know what is. Up till now I was skeptical of media manipulation of our emotions, but this kind of headline makes me want to do bad things to

      Grant - 2011-03-15 11:38

      This is not a newly minted term - I don't know the origin of the terminolgy but as disgusting as the headlines posted in the media are, it is even more tragic that it does accurately portray the thinking of these sick/bigotted human detritus that indulge in this behaviour. Just a thought, maybe by using 'shock reporting' the media attracts attention to the problem and goes some way to inspiring decent people to act. If the reports were couched in polite non-offensive language, would as much attention be taken of the article?

      maddy - 2011-03-15 11:47

      The lady representing the unfortunate victims is calling it corrective rape, exactly what it means. Barbarians thinking they can "correct" a person's behaviour by "raping" them.

      boyd.lance - 2011-03-15 11:52

      I must admit that when seeing the headline 'corrective rape' my attention was immediately drawn to the article. While I condemn the act in the strongest possible sense, I don't see the use of this term by the media as offensive. Unfortunately, these terrrible things have to be labelled something...its the same as any criminal and inhumane act. Call a spade a spade I say. Lets rather be upset about the crime, rather than what the media names the crime...just saying.

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-03-15 12:05

      How does this Comment Section become about "media manipulation" ... "Activists protest over corrective rape" is about as straight forward as you can get... If you read this article and your main concern is with "the media" then you have serious problems.. lack of sympathy/understanding/caring/justice being only a few obvious ones.

      kaylspw - 2011-03-15 12:09

      I am a researcher in psychology and am currently working on a wide field involving this. It is a scientific term referring to the barbaric act of 'turning' a lesbian into a 'real woman' It is not sensationalist but the disgusting naked truth. For once it is not the media. You need to educate yourselves about a very serious problem. Action Aid has a video on youtube showing how many men believe this is a good method. EDUCATE YOURSELVES PLEASE AND FIGHT THIS!

      mm - 2011-03-15 12:23

      This was not thought up by the media for this article you chop. What do you think the gay pride marches - which might also be news to you, is also a protest march - have been trying to highlight for years now. Xoliswa Nkonyana was brutally murdered over five years ago by 5 men because she refused to use a mens toilet at a pub in a township. Her murder case has now been postponed an astonishing 33 times! Black lesbians in townships live in fear. They are raped by ignorant men that think they will "convert" or fix them by giving them a real man. It is sick and gays have been trying to get government to educate and focus on this for years, without success, hence this protest.

  • daaivark - 2011-03-15 11:25

    These newly coined terms like "corrective rape" and "friendly fire" are not only llinguistic travesties, but also show a complete contempt for humanity.

      MasterMind - 2011-03-15 12:29

      contempt for humanity is the way of the Air Freak Can savage who claim to inhabit this land of ours, we will take it back and make sure it works - black, white, coloured and indian who think alike and want SA to succeed will overcome the scourge who currrently attempt to lead us into darkness !!!! HEAVEN MY @SS - heaven got wek, heaven got home, heaven got elktrissiti, heaven got nothing in new SA, thanks ANC, F@CK THE POOR !!!!!

      Pamela - 2011-03-15 12:49

      OMG, how about the actual act is a travesty?? Is that all you took away from this article?

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-03-15 11:34

    To say "cultural attitudes remain deeply conservative", is totally incorrect, rather say, cultural attitudes remain barbaric & chauvanistic is closer to the truth here in SA. Let's not forget, our Pres is a rapist...

      gen.mewmew - 2011-03-15 13:42


  • coonpsycho - 2011-03-15 11:36

    Oh how i miss the good old days when the media reports had proper full headings, proper facts and the full story. oh how sick and pathetic this world of media has become.....

      LaLaBlahBlah - 2011-03-15 12:31

      Exactly what in this report was not proper facts sand what part of the story is missing? It is not the media that is sick and pathetic but rather the world we live in - and yes, corrective rape as some other have already pointed out is a generally accepted term to use when rape is committed against lesbians to try and "turn" them straight. So what is your problem with this article?

      MasterMind - 2011-03-15 13:39

      name says it all !!!!!

  • Squeeze - 2011-03-15 11:39

    The only 'corrective rape' that will work in this country, is to send rapists to jail and let them get raped over, and over again, so they can feel what it feels like.

      oxygen - 2011-03-15 11:48

      I disagree - rapists should be hanged.

      Squeeze - 2011-03-15 12:10

      @oxygen. Maybe... i do agree. But that is to much of a quick ending. Let them get raped for 5 years or so in prison. Then when they feel they've done their time....hang them. Raped for 5 yrs, shit, everytime they fart, an organ will fall out. They'll die on thier own. NICE!!!!

      hf44083 - 2011-03-15 13:18

      I agree with Squeeze let the bastards know what it is like to be controlled and raped by some other lunatic the same as him. As a rape survivor I too initially said "bring back the death penalty" but as time wore on and I stood in court watching a 21 yr old sentenced to 34 yrs inprison I felt that was more deserving even if my tax money pays for him there, death would have been too easy and too quick. How the hell does any right minded person think rape would change a lesbian, if anything, make her more comfortable with other women and hate me altogether. Sick bloody minds in this world. As regards those commenting on the wording of the article - get real you are missing the main bloody point - RAPE

  • Krush - 2011-03-15 11:46

    Half these women are lesbians from being raped in the first place. Perhaps if men treated women with respect etc they wouldnt become lesbians in the first place.

      Moi1980 - 2011-03-15 11:52

      Very silly comment - you don't wake up one day and decide to "become" lesbian, it's who you are. And for most lesbians, it has nothing to do with they way in which they were treated by men.

      Steve - 2011-03-15 11:53

      I totally agree with you. Where some are naturally that way inclined, if that is the correct way to put it, I think most are "anti male" for a very good reason. They should be treated with the utmost respect as this would go a long way to breaking down the barrier. Maybe not change them but change the perception that caused the change in their lives.

      daaivark - 2011-03-15 11:58

      @ Krush: What planet are you from? Gender preference is not an acquired affliction.

      Steve - 2011-03-15 12:00

      Moi1980, yours is the most stupid comment of all. It is quite obvious that you don't have a clue of what you are commenting on. Women who turn to female compaionship, and that is where it starts, because they have had a bad experience with a male. by the way men turn to men because a female has given them a bad experience, and not neccessarily sexual, but a mother can be the biggest culprit. Catch a wake up and put your brain in gear before you engage your mouth or in this case your fingers.

      LaLaBlahBlah - 2011-03-15 12:37

      @ Steve, Actually Moi1980 is way more correct than you. Your se=xual preference is not based on experiences with the other sex. You are born gay or straight or somewhere inbetween. Sexuality is fluid but definitely not about bad experiences. I have had NO bad experiences with men but I am a lesbian. So ther goes your theory. Maybe you should rather be the one to do some research?

      mm - 2011-03-15 12:41

      @Steve. Sit down before you embarrass yourself. Strange that no one in the world yet could consisevely prove "why people are gay", yet you have the answers, according to you, and then you attack anyone who differs. Given, while there might be some cases where your theory holds water, it is not true in all cases. People are gay for different reasons, that is the only fact. The reason I know this is that I personally grew up in a very loving and caring home, and had no bad experiences, sexual or otherwise with women, yet, I am gay? And if your theory was so foolproof as you think, why are neither my two brothers or sister gay, as they had the very same parents and the very same treatment? I knew I was different even before I knew or understood what that difference was, before I could even read. It is only later as I grew up that I understood what that was. I grew up perfectly normal. I have never been raped or abused. We do not need to know why people are gay, it does not matter. We need to accept that some people are gay, born that way, by choice, by rape, whatever, that is not the point. The point is that they are human, and deserve the same treatment you would want to have or want for your kids

      Moi1980 - 2011-03-15 12:56

      @Krush - Really? So very lesbian is a lesbian because she had a bad experience with a man??? Wow, I'll really have to update my lesbian friends. They're obviously mistakenly going around with other women assuming they're lesbian, when they're obviously not. You're a very narrow minded individual. For most lesbians, that is just who they are, that's the way they were born. It's quite insulting to tell them that they're only lesbian/gay because they had a bad experience with a member of the opposite sex.

      tut - 2011-03-15 13:43

      what about me I'm a swinging lesbian trapped in a man's body??

      Richard - 2011-03-15 15:14

      @ Moi1980: I respectfully disagree. The majority of homosexuality is a result of sensationalism and media painting it out to look acceptable. In reality the majority of gays are that way because of choice.. In fact, most homosexuals are rather bisexual (try not to ignore this fact) so there goes that 'born a gay' excuse (note how I say 'most' and not all). I don't have an issue with homosexuality but people should at least start being honest about it at least?! Hence Krush, your comment isn't that silly. And Moi, what makes you more right than facts?

      Kyle Smith - 2011-03-15 17:23

      Thanks to Moi980 and daaivark for being the only people here with brains. Homosexuality is a genetic trait, I.E you are born that way, it has to do with the administration of, oestrogen in the case of a female, and testosterone int he case of a male, during the foetal development. Science has already proved a lot of these studies as has psychology! The fact that ignorant people still 'choose' to believe that gay men and women were influenced or woke up one day and decided to be gay is where the abnormality starts! Wake up, we live in the 21st century!

      Moi1980 - 2011-03-16 07:56

      @Richard - show me your facts. You've given me your opinion, not facts. I've never pointed to any "facts" in my comments - I've given my opinion which is based on my interaction with family and friends that are gay/lesbian. and your comment "the media painting it out to look acceptable" - do you then believe that it isn't acceptable?

  • kaylspw - 2011-03-15 12:12

    I am a researcher in psychology and am currently working on a wide field involving this. It is a scientific term referring to the barbaric act of 'turning' a lesbian into a 'real woman' It is not sensationalist but the disgusting naked truth. For once it is not the media. You need to educate yourselves about a very serious problem. Action Aid has a video on youtube showing how many men believe this is a good method. EDUCATE YOURSELVES PLEASE AND FIGHT THIS!

  • e.henning101 - 2011-03-15 12:16

    What bloody terminoly is this - corrective rape?! Rape is rape and it is and will always remain a horrific crime! Respect others, although you/ we might not agree with them - be it religion, sexual preference or whatever!

      tut - 2011-03-15 13:44

      It's like "struggle songs" terminology. An excuse to commit a horrific crime!

  • Siener2011 - 2011-03-15 12:20

    Rape is rape!!!!How can any other human being do that to someone else? You demean them of any dignity and ruin their lives forever. Every 20 seconds a woman is raped in South Africa, so in as little as 2 years, every 2nd woman you know would have suffered some kind of brutal rape. So whether you are gay or not, it is unacceptable!! Since we have no death penalty, why not castrate them and have their private parts fed as a snack to Lions and Crocodiles while they watch. REAL MEN DON’T RAPE – so where are they and why are they not protecting the woman of SA?

  • Siener2011 - 2011-03-15 12:24

    O ja - Hate Crime can then also be connected to all the Boere being killed

      mm - 2011-03-15 12:48

      NOW you got it. Yes, the farm murders are also hate crimes, just like raping a lesbian to fix her, or assaulting a gay man to embarrass him is. It is done because you hate their colour or what they are, or who they love, or how they behave. Hate crime.

  • kilo39 - 2011-03-15 12:24

    What is it about some men that they think they can, and must, fix everything that is not according to their interpretation of normal. It is illogical to even think that to so violently violate a woman would change her genetics. The death sentence for these mutants is the answer. If it is sex that these useless individuals want, then they must beg for it like the rest of us.

      gen.mewmew - 2011-03-15 13:45

      its selfish and very very foolish. this comes with being uneducated in LIFE

  • Ion James - 2011-03-15 12:27

    if you want to stop a rapist , try a .38 Special..

  • Irvine - 2011-03-15 12:54

    The biggest problem with the use of the term is that it sounds almost as if it IS an actual means to an ends, i.e. man rapes lesbian = lesbian no more. The word "so-called" or "perceived" etc etc. need to be used in conjunction with this term somehow - so that any brain-dead sicko who hears the term is not led to believe that it's his "moral obligation" to "fix" any lesbians he may encounter. *shakes head*

  • isabeljones101 - 2011-03-15 13:04

    The worst biological weapon in the world is testosterone - the cause of all the k@k - wars, violence, etc. - and the deviant, anti-social behaviour that accompanies this oversupply is soul-destroying, especially for the young and vulnerable who are exposed to it. The "testoterone terrorists" unfortunately have the weaponry to inflict the worst physical and psychological damage by means of the object which seems to be worshipped most in Africa - the male phallus. Not fussy where they discharge the offending item (babies, small children, women, animals, etc.), it would be beneficial to all of mankind if the urge to use it in anger could be severely restricted either by castration or complete removal of the appendage, thereby rendering the owner harmless and unable to participate in 'corrective rape' attacks on women. Once this threat to normal human values and safety is contained, the world should indeed be a better place for all.

      Peter - 2011-03-15 13:32

      Brilliantly said! nuf said!

      tut - 2011-03-15 13:56

      You got some cahoneys to say that mam! Always thought Bin Laden had a football size set of testicles under his skirt neatly parked and making some serious indentations in the Afghanese sand dunes big enough for hiding weapons of mass destruction including women. he he

  • Colline - 2011-03-15 13:23

    RAPE a lesbian to "cure" her, RAPE a child to "cure" HIV, RAPE women when you rob them, RAPE a boy cos he's and easy target...rape is the order of the day in this country. even the president did it.

  • Stewart Welsh - 2011-03-15 13:33

    Everyone has a cause nowadays and most all have a personal investment in that cause. This is nothing new nor will it disappear despite some fleeting headline or arbitrary legislation

  • Alfred - 2011-03-15 13:49

    Maybe we could try a corrective procedure of our own to cure the stupidity of those who think that raping someone will "fix" them. Clubbing them repeatedly over the head with a garden shovel might just do the trick.

      pop101 - 2011-03-15 14:13

      You mean "cure" them permanently. I agree.

  • kilo39 - 2011-03-15 15:40

    it's time to declare a war on 'court convicted' murderers and rapists. Why o why do we treat these rabid dogs with is illogical and goes against man's inherent sense of survival.

  • dantochat - 2011-03-31 17:16

    "Corrective rape" of Lesbians is absolutely atrocious. But it is not the only form of "rape as punishment". What amazed me is the huge amount of support, both from readers and the court (who condoned the advertisement), for an advertisement that proposes "corrective rape" as punishment for drunk driving! Is "corrective rape" then acceptable under some circumstances? Is it acceptable as punishment for rapists? NO - rape is rape, and rape is WRONG.

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