On 27 December, 30-year-old Phoebe Titus, a transgender woman, was knifed in the neck in broad daylight, allegedly by a 15-year-old in Wolseley in the Western Cape.
The month before, the naked body of 35-year-old LGBTI music student Bobby Motlatla was discovered in his Potchefstroom flat. He had been stabbed 39 times.
“Enough is enough. Every attack is one too many,” commented Lerato Phalakatshela, Love Not Hate Manager at OUT LGBT Well-being. “We all need to work together to stop these hate crimes, be it by conducting marches, submitting memoranda or going to the media to help get our voices heard.”
He welcomed recent reports that the long-awaited Hate Crimes Bill will soon be presented to Cabinet and then released to the public for comment.
“Hate crime legislation is desperately needed in South Africa,” said Phalakatshela. “It will not only penalise perpetrators for the hate-based nature of their crimes, but will also finally allow the authorities to accurately monitor these incidents and respond as needed.”
He urged the LGBTI community and the general public to come forward to the authorities with information on the latest hate crime cases.
As part of Love Not Hate’s awareness campaign, OUT LGBT Well-being, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Foundation for Human Rights are hosting a public dialogue in Tshwane about the LGBTI community and the hate crimes faced by its members.
The event will take place on Friday 29 January at 11am in Soshanguve (Falala Community Hall, Block F). Community organisations are invited to place their stalls at the venue so they can market their objectives and services.
To participate in the dialogue or for more information, please contact Phalakatshela on email@example.com
or 012 430 3272.
About Love Not Hate
Love Not Hate is collaboration between seven South African civil society organisations in Gauteng, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal.
The programme works with government and other partners to bring awareness about LGBTI hate crimes to the public and service providers. This includes assisting LGBTI persons to report incidents of violence and to navigate the justice system, as well as tracking hate crimes.
The Love Not Hate partners are: Access Chapter 2; Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre; Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (Gala); Gay and Lesbian Network; OUT LGBTI Well-being; Social, Health and Empowerment Feminist Collective of Transgender Women of Africa (SHE); and Triangle Project.
The programme is funded by the Global Equality Fund.