Teen arrested in connection with Lonwabo Jack's murder

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Lonwabo Jack.
Lonwabo Jack.
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  • The family of Lonwabo Jack who was raped and brutally murdered have described him as a person who was a "lover of beautiful things".
  • Jack's lifeless body was found with a stab wound to the chest on 18 April after he had gone out to celebrate his 22nd birthday.
  • A 17-year-old suspect has now been arrested for his murder.

The family of a gay man, who was raped and murdered, have welcomed the police breakthrough in the murder, suspected to be a hate crime.

Lonwabo Jack's body was found with stab wounds on Sunday in Mau-Mau, Nyanga East, after he had gone out to celebrate his 22nd birthday with friends.

The murder sparked outrage from the Gay Lesbian Alliance of SA (GLASA) and the LGBTQIA+ community.

His heartbroken family described Jack as a person who was a "lover of beautiful things".

READ | Thami Kotolo on hate crimes in SA: 'We need to start getting people arrested'

According to Jack's aunt, Nokuthula Jack, the family last saw their nephew on Saturday afternoon when he left to celebrate his birthday.

"I think his friends had something nice planned for his birthday," she said.

"The next morning, I received a call from my friend saying that we should rush to the scene after she had discovered a body lying on the ground," the aunt added.

His body was dumped in front of the aunt's friend's house in Pula Road in Mau-Mau, Nyanga.

Clothes

When the family arrived at the scene, they identified Jack by the clothes he had been wearing.

His younger sister, Linathi Jack, said she didn't want to believe it was her brother.

"When I saw his body, I told my mom that they had made a mistake," the 14-year-old said.

"I was so confused I didn't want to believe my eyes," she added.

Jack's grieving family said they would always remember him as a sweet person who was very outspoken.

"He was a lover of nice things," Jack's aunt said.

She added that he enjoyed going to church and singing, much to his sister's irritation.

Church

"He would always wake me up early in the morning and force me to go to church with him," she admitted.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said a teenager had been arrested in connection with Jack's murder.

"The dedication by members attached to Nyanga detectives led to the arrest of a 17-year-old suspect for the murder of 22-year-old Lonwabo Jack," she said.

He was arrested on Wednesday in Eerste River. 

Nyanga Community Policing Forum (CPF) secretary Dumisani Qwebe said: "We condemn such behaviour of discrimination regardless of race or gender."

The CPF said they would be educating the Nyanga community about accepting and respecting everyone, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Rwexana said the suspect was expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate's Court once he had been charged with Jack's murder.

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