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Ana Matronic demands justice for South African woman raped and murdered for being a lesbian

in SOUTH AFRICA, 09/01/2013

Scissor Sisters singer supports Amnesty's Write for Rights campaign and its efforts to end violence against the gay community

Noxolo Nogwaza was just 24 years old when she was raped, beaten and stabbed to death on her way home from a night out with her friends in the South African township of Kwa Thema on 24 April 2011.

Her brutalised body was dumped in a shallow ditch. It appears that the only motive for the killing was that Noxolo was a lesbian.

Nearly two years after her death, little progress has been made on Noxolo's case and her killers remain at large.

Homophobia is still widespread in South Africa, despite its progressive laws. The constitution forbids discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and it is the only African country to have legalised homosexual marriage.

Nevertheless, Noxolo's assualt was the latest in a long series of vicious crimes against lesbians and gay men, and such attacks have created fear in the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.

Noxolo was an active member of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee, and had spoken out about her own sexuality. She and others had campaigned bravely for equal rights for LGBTI people.

Amnesty supports campaigners in South Africa who are calling for an end to homophobia across the country, and features Noxolo in its Write for Rights letter-writing campaign.

Ana Matronic, lead singer of Scissor Sisters, supports Amnesty's call for justice for Noxolo's cause, and has seen the positive effect that the simple action of writing a letter can have on a person's life.

Ana said: "It is my dream of dreams to have everyone in the world be unafraid to be who they truly are and are able to express themselves. I believe we should accept each other for who we are.

"This is why I'm supporting this case. Noxolo was brave enough to stand up for her beliefs and paid the price with her life. We must now take action to demand justice for her."

Watch Ana's full interview below and if you would like to call for justice for Noxolo visit amnesty.org.uk/noxolo

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