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SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE MAKE ARRESTS IN RAPE AND MURDER OF KWAZULU LESBIAN

in SOUTH AFRICA, 04/09/2012

Police have made an arrest in the latest reported rape and and murder of a 28 year old Lesbian in Kwazulu, Natal, South Africa.

The body of Mandisa Mbambo was discovered under her bed by her parents on Sunday, 26th August, in the brutal rape and murder.

Like many other lesbian victims of so called “corrective” rape, endemic in South Africa, the murder was particularly brutal. The victim, reportedly a soccer fan, had been seen arguing with a man the night before the attack. Her body was discovered with her hands tied. Her bruised face was swollen and she had stab wounds all across her body. Only 28, activists in South Africa believe the victim had been targeted for being a lesbian.

It is alleged that the suspect made sexual advances toward her and followed her home. LGBTI activist Funeka Soldaat of the organization Free Gender is calling for swift and fierce justice, while others are calling for harsh punishment to thwart other such crimes based on intolerance and hate.

In another report via IOL we are learning that four men were arrested in the murder. A family spokesperson provided the following account:

“The family’s spokesman, Ephraim Mbambo, told the grieving crowd that he had been at home last week when he heard a neighbour scream, “nayi ingane ibulawa (someone is killing the child)”. The neighbour even screamed out the name of the person who was beating Mbambo.

“I went outside with my wife and saw the person beating Mandisa,” he said.

“I then went to him and asked him why he was beating her, and told him that if she was in debt to him, I would pay.

He stopped beating her and then we all went home.”

Mbambo said the next day he received the a call telling him that the she had been murdered.

“When I got there, I could see that it was more then one person who had done this to her.

“Mandisa was a child who tried hard in life and worked several jobs to make some money.”

Hundreds of people, including KZN legislature deputy speaker Mtholephi Mthimkhulu, attended her funeral, all wondering about the motive for her murder.

Mthimkhulu told the gathering the killing was “immoral” and “uncalled for”.

Police have arrested four men, who will appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Welcoming the arrests, Mthimkhulu said: “I am very pleased that police made arrests.

One of them is well-known and was recently released from prison.”

He urged the community to stand up to any sort of abuse, and said the sexual orientation of a person was irrelevant.

The police have not yet released the names of the accused which is protocol in South Africa, and usually only occurs after arraignment. The ANC has called for an end to crimes based on homophobia.

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