The LGBTIQ+ community fears that KwaZulu-Natal is becoming a hotspot for hate crime following the brutal death of Anele Bhengu (28).
“Her brutal murder sparked more fears within the gay and lesbian community as they are increasingly becoming targets of homophobia around the province, with Durban becoming a hotspot,” said the KwaZulu-Natal department of Social Development in a statement.
Bhengu’s body was found in an open field in KwaMakhutha Township, south-west of Durban on Sunday.
According to police statements, Bhengu had allegedly been raped, stabbed, her throat was slit and her stomach cut open.
Bhengu’s death comes at the back of other gruesome murders of people belonging to the LGBTQI+ community. These include Sphamandla Khoza, Nonhlanhla Kunene, Lindokuhle Mapu and Khulekani Gomazi who were all murdered in KZN this year.
A 39-year-old man has since been arrested in connection for Bhengu’s murder and will be appearing at the Umbumbulu Magistrate’s Court soon.
Social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has commended the swift action of police and called for justice in Bhengu’s murder.
“The suspect must face the full might of the law.
Our justice system must send out a strong message that there is no place in our democracy for such callous and inhumane acts,” she said.
Khoza said she strongly believed that the arrested man would help police track down others who were involved in Bhengu’s brutal murder.
“We have repeatedly condemned attacks and violation of LGBTQIA+ rights as acts of gross criminality and are against the ethos of our democracy. We call on our communities to assist in intelligence gathering, which may assist in reducing the incidence of violent crimes directed at the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Khoza.