A gay 22-year-old woman was kidnapped from her home and shot dead in South Africa on Saturday night (3 December).
Noluvo Swelindawo, her friends called her Vovo, was declared missing after her partner Nqabisa Mkatali found the windows to her house in Khayelitsha – a coastal town east of Cape Town – were shattered and the door kicked open.
Knocking on neighbors’ doors for help, friends and family searched the area all night as police conducted their investigation.
Neighbors said they believed Swelindawo had been abducted by a gang.
Vovo’s body was discovered riddled with gunshot wounds near a footbridge close to the N2 highway, a road around 15 minutes drive from Khayelitsha.
While no arrests have been made, it appeared that Vovo had been assaulted the night before her murder.
Friends said she had a swollen eye after being hit by a young man from the town on Friday, but Vovo did not want to talk about it.
Free Gender Khayelitsha founder Funeka Soldaat has called on communities to unite and to find Vovo’s killer.
‘The way our communities react when such crimes are committed is a concern,’ she told IOL.
‘What is most painful about this is the fact that it seems there is no outrage. It seems like it’s normal. But if this was a straight woman, the reaction would have been different.’