SA LGBTIQ+ Rights Watch: July 2022

OUT LGBT Well-being in collaboration with MambaOnline publish a monthly overview of violations of the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in South Africa. We also look at the status of cases making their way through the criminal justice system. Here is our summary for July 2022.

  • In Gqeberha, the Steve Hofmeyr hate speech case is ongoing. The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) filed a complaint in the Equality Court over anti- LGBTIQ+ comments made by the singer in April. A court date has yet to be set. Hofmeyr’s agents claim that he was on leave for the month of July and would only respond to the SAHRC’s demand that he apologises and pays R500,000 to an LGBTIQ+ group when he returns. OUT and the SAHRC will follow-up on the matter.
  • A hate speech complaint was lodged with the SAHRC against Richard Mushwana, a Johannesburg preacher and former ACDP election candidate who’s been using his social media posts to repeatedly proclaim that gay people are sinners no better than those who commit bestiality.
  • On the East Rand in Gauteng, a lesbian woman was murdered in June. No arrests have yet been made. The family has asked for time to process the death of their daughter.
  • The murder case of a young gay man in Gqeberha is still in court. The suspect is due to undergo psychiatric assessment in the next few weeks. He has again applied for bail after it was previously denied.
  • A lesbian woman and her partner were assaulted by a group of homophobic men in Johannesburg when she refused to talk to them while she was walking to the shops. The couple has opened a case at their local police station.
  • A lesbian woman in the Eastern Cape was raped by two men after she passed out from a night of drinking at a local pub. She’s confirmed that she knows the men who victimised her. However, she is reluctant to open a case with the police.
  • A young gay man and his partner in Pretoria were assaulted by the police a few months ago. They laid a charge with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). Their case has since been heard by IPID and the young couple has decided that they wish to be compensated for their medical bills and for the humiliation they went through. The case will be finalised soon.
  • Incidents of dating app related crimes against queer men in Gauteng continued to be reported in July, with little apparent headway by police. The victims are typically lured via Grindr to meet at a location specified by their date. When they arrive, they are held captive, robbed or threatened until they arrange for a friend or family member to make a payment to the criminals. In one case, a victim was also raped.
  • The case against the four men accused of killing 24-year-old gay marketing and communications professional Sam Mbatha last year was transferred to the High Court in the North West province. The accused are set to appear in court again on 29 August. Mbatha’s body was discovered in the boot of his burnt out car in June 2021. Investigations led the police to a house where they found bloodstains in a bedroom and an axe on the roof, believed to have been used in the crime.


If you’ve experienced or witnessed an LGBTIQ+ hate crime, hate speech or any other kind of LGBTIQ+ discrimination in South Africa, you can now report it anonymously on your phone at no cost.

  • Simply dial *134*382*5# and follow the instructions. If you wish, you can request to be called back for support.

 NB: South African phone companies have a pre-set time limit. After 120 seconds you will lose connection. However, if you redial *134*382*5# you can start where you left off.