Man arrested in connection with murder of Cape Town woman

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Phelokazi Ndlwana.
Phelokazi Ndlwana.
  • Western Cape police have arrested a 39-year-old man following the murder of a lesbian in Khayelitsha.
  • Phelokazi Ndlwana was found with stab wounds to her chest and later succumbed to her injuries.
  • Her murder comes a week after the funeral of Lonwabo Jack who was killed in another alleged hate crime in Nyanga.

Khayelitsha residents have rallied behind the LGBTQI+ community after the murder of yet another lesbian in the violence-torn Cape Town suburb.

Phelokazi Ndlwana died over there weekend after being stabbed several times. 

Western Cape police arrested a 39-year-old man on Monday in connection with the crime.

Spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said the police were called to a crime scene in Mzolxolo Street, Site C, Khayelitsha, on Sunday.

"On their arrival, they were directed by the community to the body of a female who had succumbed to what appeared to be stab wounds to the chest area," added Traut.

Ndlwana's cousin, Thembalakhe Balele, said from the reports they had received, she and her friends were at a shebeen when she stepped outside.

"One of her friends went out to check on her when she didn't return after some time," added Balele. The friend then found that Ndlwana had been stabbed and looked weak. Balele said the friends claimed they saw the suspect carrying a knife.

"We are finding it very hard to deal with her death," he added.

The murder of 24-year-old Ndlwana comes a week after the funeral of Lonwabo Jack who was killed in another alleged hate crime in Nyanga.

READ | Teen arrested for the murder of Lonwabo Jack appears in court

The founder and spokesperson of the Khulani Khayelitsha Queer Hub, Sibusiso Nqunqeka, told News24 such LGBTQIA+ hate crimes were concerning.

"There is no support system for the LGBTQIA+ community in the townships," he said. 

"Most of the hate crime perpetrators are people who aren't educated about the dynamics of our community."


Nqunqeka believed it was common for men who identified as "straight men" to be attracted to members of the LGBTQIA+ community in social gatherings.

However, because they feared the stigma associated with being gay, they resorted to silencing the LGBTQIA+ member.

Meanwhile messages of condolences have been pouring in on social media for the young victim, fondly known as Mac Dee.

The Congress of South African Students in the Western Cape expressed its shock and sadness after learning about the death of its former provincial treasurer.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Comrade Phelokazi as she was one of the [cadres] who stood firm in advocating for the LGBTQI+ community," acting provincial chairperson Zandile Matyeni said in a statement.

"As a province, we will continue to celebrate her life and will further communicate arrangements for a memorial service after visiting the family," Matyeni added.

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