A young woman has been gunned down right in front of her mother and her six year-old niece and activists say she may have been killed because she was a lesbian.
Phumeza Nkolonzi, 22, died after the unknown gunman kicked in the door to her home in the Cape Town township of Nyanga and shot three times without saying a single word. He fled after stealing Phumeza’s mobile phone.
Her brother, Solly Nkolonzi, said the family was hoping someone would come forward with information. “We don’t know why Phumeza was killed,” he said. “She was not a naughty child. She was a lesbian, but she never did any wrong things.”
So far the motive has not been established, however lesbian rights organisation Free Gender believe the murder must have been a hate crime.
Phumeza was openly gay and last year attended the funeral of Nontsikelelo Tyatyeka, the lesbian whose body was found in a wheelie-bin at the home of her neighbour last year after going missing.
Free Gender chairwoman Funeka Soldaat said that the group was concerned that attacks on lesbians were on the rise in the Mau-Mau area of Nyanga, where Phemeza and Nontsikelelo both lived.“It seems like some people in that community don’t want to tolerate lesbians,” she commented. It is scary to see young people being killed brutally because others are simply not comfortable with their sexual orientation.”