As man terrifies group of women, leaving two in hospital, anti-gay attacks are on the rise in South Africa
Six lesbians are afraid for their lives after they were brutally beaten at a petrol station in Cape Town, South Africa.
As reported by IOL News, none of the women said they wanted to be identified for fear of further attacks.
One of the women, 22, claims a man charged towards her and started attacking one of her friends after they left a gay-friendly club in the early hours of Sunday morning (21 October).
She said: ‘He punched her until she was down on the ground. He kicked her in the face until blood trickled down her forehead.
‘He slapped, shoved and punched anyone who tried to intervene. He was so strong; we felt powerless.’
She described the guy looking like he was on drugs, and turned on some of the other women in the group when they tried to stop him.
While he was beating on them, he allegedly shouted: ‘These fucking lesbians! We must beat them up until they stop.’
The woman added: ‘The sad part is a group of guys watched and didn’t do anything to help.
‘I don’t know where all that hate was coming from. I am scared to go out now. As a lesbian I feel like a walking target.’
Pumeza Runeyi, a witness and member of Free Gender, a black lesbian organisation, said she felt helpless watching the attack.
She said: ‘No one could stop him. If that guy had a gun he would have killed someone that night.
‘It was if he held a grudge against them. I am angry and want to see justice done.’
Gay rights activists have warned South Africa has seen a growing amount of homophobic attacks in the townships.
While it is the most gay-friendly country in the continent, Human Rights Watch has noted a string of attacks has gone on unpunished and unnoted.
Dipika Nath, a researcher in the group’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights program, said: ‘If the South African government is committed to protecting the rights of all people equally, leaders must address the specific motives targeting the LGBT community in these crimes.’
The six friends have opened a case of assault at the Gugulethu police station.