Wednesday marks the two year anniversary of the brutal death of Noxolo Nogwaza, a South African lesbian and LGBT rights activist.
In 2011, 24-year-old Noxolo, organizer of the Ekurhuleni Pride Committee, was murdered in South Africa, while on her way home from a night out with friends. Her attackers raped, repeatedly beat and stabbed her, apparently because of her sexual orientation, before dumping her body in a drainage ditch.
Two years after her death, no progress has been made into the investigation of her murder and her killer(s) remain at large.
It is believed that Noxolo was raped by eight men and murdered in KwaThema township, near Johannesburg. This and other incidents represent what is known as “corrective rape,” in which men rape lesbians in what they see as an attempt to “correct” their sexual orientation, but in what is truly a hate crime. The practice is endemic in South Africa.
Despite having a fully inclusive constitution, LGBTI people in South Africa face enormous amount of homophobia.
Taunts and insults are common, as are hate crimes like sexual assault and other physical attacks – particularly in rural areas and townships. The authorities’ have failed to educate the public and have failed to provide the necessary resources to investigate this and other similar crimes, exacerbating the persecution experienced by the LGBTI community, especially in these areas.
To mark the two year anniversary of Noxolo’s murder, Amnesty International, together with Ekurhuleni Pride Organizing Committee (EPOC), a local community-based organization, are organizing a Day of Commemoration in honor of all LGBTI individuals murdered due to their sexual orientation.
Amnesty members throughout the world are demonstrating their solidarity with Noxolo, and other LGBTI individuals who have been targeted simply because of their sexual orientation by encouraging people to send out messages of solidarity through Twitter, Facebook and other social media today.
As human rights defenders, an LGBTI community worldwide, and LGBT allies, we have a responsibility to take a stand and ensure Noxolo, and all victims of violence, are not forgotten.
#Remember #Noxolo #DemandJustice #LGBT