OUT LGBT Well-being is deeply saddened and outraged by the tragic and senseless murder of 21-year-old Diego Jacobs, a beloved member of Cape Town’s LGBTIQ+ community.
Diego’s life was cut short in a suspected hate crime, leaving his loved ones and community devastated. As Cape Town prepares to commemorate Pride this month, we stand in solidarity with Diego’s family and friends, and we condemn this heinous act of violence in the strongest possible terms.
According to reports, Diego was brutally attacked in the early hours of Saturday, February 3rd, in Delft. Accompanied by two friends, Diego was walking home when he encountered a former neighbour who had previously harassed him about his queer identity.
Despite Diego’s efforts to avoid a confrontation and walk away, the suspect allegedly attacked him, using anti-LGBTIQ+ slurs and fatally stabbing him in the neck with a knife. A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murder.
Says OUT’s Civil Society Engagement Officer, Sibonelo Ncanana: “No individual should ever face violence or discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges and dangers faced by LGBTIQ+ individuals in South Africa.”
The attack also highlights the importance of enacting the long-awaited Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill which was passed by Parliament in December. Two months later, the bill continues to await President Cyril Ramaphosa’s signature. “We once again call on the President to take action and assent to the bill urgently, before any more lives are lost to hate and intolerance,” says Ncanana.
OUT LGBT Well-being reaffirms our commitment to supporting and advocating for the rights and safety of all LGBTIQ+ individuals. We demand justice for Diego and call on law enforcement authorities to thoroughly investigate this crime and ensure that the perpetrator is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
OUT LGBT Well-being will be providing financial support to assist Diego’s family with expenses for his funeral, which will take place on Saturday. We urge the community to come together in solidarity, as we mourn the loss of a bright young life taken far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with Diego’s family and friends during this difficult time.
OUT LGBT Well-being is a registered NPO that provides HIV and other health and empowerment services to gay, bisexual and MSM communities. It also advocates for LGBTIQ+ equality and works to eradicate stigma, discrimination, and hate crimes.