The brutality of the attack has all the hallmarks of a hate crime perpetrated against an LGBT victim because of his or her sexual orientation, gender identity or gender appearance.

A 24-year-old man, named as Stoffel Botlhokwane, appeared in the Ventersdorp Magistrates’ Court in connection with the murder on Monday.

OUT sends its deepest condolences to Gift’s family and friends and urges all South Africans to unite in speaking out against LGBT hate crimes.

“Yet another member of our LGBT community has fallen victim to a deadly hate crime, an act that has no place in South Africa, especially after 20 years of democracy,” commented OUT Health Manager Johan Meyer.

“Gift’s appalling murder was committed during women’s month, highlighting the precarious state of gender and sexual orientation equality in many of our communities,” he added.

Details of Gift’s murder have been communicated to the Department of Justice’s Rapid Response Team, set up to monitor and fast track pending and reported LGBTI related hate crimes in the criminal justice system.

“As a member of the National Task Team on Sexual Orientation and Gender-based Violence, we see the quick arrest of a suspect as a positive sign amidst this unspeakable tragedy. We call for a thorough and speedy investigation and trial in the case. Justice must not be delayed for Gift,” said Meyer.