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in SOUTH AFRICA, 01/02/2012

Six years later, the four men accused of brutally murdering Zoliswa Nkonyana because of her sexual orientation, will appear for sentencing on 1st February 2012.

The long running case of a murdered Cape Town lesbian Zoliswa Nkonyana seems set to draw to a close this week with the sentencing of the four men convicted of killing her.

Sentencing of the four men Lubabolo Ntlabathi, Sicelo Mase, Luyanda Londzi and Mbulelo Damba who murdered Nkonyana, 19, because she was openly lesbian is set for Wednesday, February 1.

According to a report in the Times newspaper in Johannesburg, the four, will appear before the Khayelitsha Regional Court for pre-sentencing arguments today.

Nkonyana was stabbed and stoned to death outside a shebeen in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, on February 4, 2006.

The Times reported today that the case, in its sixth year, has been beset by delays, bungling and escape from custody. It has been postponed about 50 times.

The newspaper said, “Last year the families of the convicted men pleaded with the court to sentence them to correctional supervision instead of imprisonment. They argued that they were underage when they committed the offence.”

The report added, “Nkonyana’s parents are struggling to come to terms with the death of their only child and have declined to speak to media.”

According to the Times, “Activists from the Treatment Action Campaign, Triangle Project, Social Justice Coalition, Free Gender and Khayelitsha residents took to picketing outside the court when the four appear to draw attention to the delays.”

The newspaper reported that Eric Ntabazalila, spokesman for the National Prosecution Authority in Western Cape, said today’s proceeding would deal mainly with mitigation of sentence, followed by sentencing on Wednesday.

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