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Murder suspect arrested in brutal slaying of LGBT volunteer in South Africa


A suspect has been arrested in the brutal murder of Thapelo Makuthle in Kuruman, near Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

Makutle, who identified as both gay and transgender, was a volunteer for the LGBT advocacy group LEGBO.

Based in Northern Cape, LEGBO provides support and health training for rural LGBT communities confronted with stigmatization and victimization.

The accused, Sizwe Tajini, was found at his mother’s house in Welkom using the deceased’s laptop computer. He was staying with his father in Seoding , the same village as the victim Thapelo, at the time of the murder.

At a brief appearance in Mothibistad Court the accused, according to local activists, showed no remorse and was arrogant in court. The case has been postponed for bail hearing to the 3 July 2012 .

The attack and murder of Makuthle on June 8 was particularly brutal as the victim’s neck was almost severed from his body. There were also reports that his genitals had been cut.

Activists had reported that the victim was accosted at a night club the night before his body was found and harassed for being gay and transgender.

Unconfirmed reports are alleging that Sizwe admitted to the crime.

Activists have asserted that they have no doubt that the murder was a hate crime and that Thapelo was targeted for being gay.

Activists are calling for a large showing on July 3 to ensure that the accused murderer does not get bail.

Demonstrations will start with a march from the Mothibistad Fourway to the Mothhibistad Court in Kuruman.

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