A lesbian woman has been brutally raped with a toilet brush and murdered in what is believed to have been a hate crime in Ekurhuleni, South Africa.
The half-naked body of 26-year-old Duduzile Zozo was found in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, a township outside of Johannesburg, on Sunday morning, reported the Daily Sun.
LGBT activists have called upon South Africa’s government to act now against hate crime and asked US President Barack Obama, who is visiting the country, to raise the issue of the rise in hate crimes against gay people.
According to the police Zozo’s body was discovered with a toilet brush rammed into her vagina.
Zozo’s grieving mother, Thuziwe Zozo, told the newspaper she suspects her daughter was murdered because of her sexuality.
‘She was a lesbian but she has never had any problems before. People loved and appreciated her,’ she said.
In one of her final posts on Facebook on Friday, she wrote: ‘In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationship we are afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make…’
Police stated they are investigating reports that Zozo was spotted in a tavern on Saturday night.
Police Captain Godfrey Maditsi urged the public ‘to come forward with any information that could help put those responsible behind bars.’
Thulisle Msiza, Director of Ekurhuleni LGBTI, told Mambaonline: ‘It seems that as lesbians we cannot go anywhere.
We cannot be ourselves. We have to hide ourselves, otherwise we get killed. We have to stay indoors – like caged animals.
‘It’s like we are living in the apartheid era again and homosexuals are the ones that are being oppressed.’
The local municipality has seen number of brutal attacks on lesbian women.
In April, the body of the out lesbian Patricia Mashigo (36), a mother of two children, was dumped at Daveyton township, after the woman appeared to have been stoned to death.
South Africa’s Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD) two year old task force which aims ‘to address violence against LGBTI people’ has been recently criticized for doing too little to combat the country’s rising hate crimes.
Although in a statement DOJ&CD stated their commitment for equality and ‘make an impact’, Eugene Brockman from the Gay Flag of South Africa said: ‘It’s very vague about when they are going to do things. They have had two years to do something.’
Junior Equality Mayema of People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) organization told Gay Star News: ‘This woman was killed in a heinous, brutal and grizzly way simply because of her sexuality.
‘The government must open a dialogue with cultural and religious leaders of this country about LGBT rights, so that the incitement to hate that motivates such crimes, is stopped.
‘I am disappointed why US president Barack Obama didn’t raise the topic of LGBT rights during his visit to South Africa; perhaps he is not well informed of what is happening here.
‘Religion, customs and culture are rife with homophobia which also plagues the police.
‘All these issues must be addressed before more people die from such heinous hate crimes that plague South Africa.’