Young lesbian woman murdered on her birthday

The teen was killed in a suspected hate crime just meters from her home. She was found by her mother, who ran outside when she heard her daughter’s screams, and died on her way to hospital.
Lucia, who had just turned 19, was studying towards a qualification in fitting and turning at the Wits Technical College.
Lucia’s friends last saw her alive walking home late at night followed by two men who had earlier asked her for a cigarette.
She was buried on 24 March. The family opened a murder case at the Katlehong SAPS and police took statements from her two friends. They now fear being targeted by the suspects, who have yet to be identified or questioned.
“Lucia was a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her,” commented Lerato Phalakatshela, Hate Crime Manager at OUT LGBT Well-being and spokesperson for the Love Not Hate campaign.
“She deserves justice. The Katlehong SAPS must intensify their search and arrest these criminals,” he said after meeting with the victim’s grieving and traumatised mother.
Phalakatshela expressed his frustration that police have not drawn up identikits of the suspects despite having two witnesses. He also believes that the media is often failing to report on LGBTI hate crimes.
“There have been many hate crimes against LGBTI people in South Africa over the years,” Phalakatshela added, “but there have been very few arrests. The system is really failing us.”
Anyone who has any information about Lucia’s murder is urged to contact Phalakatshela on or 012 430 3272.
Learn more about hate crimes at
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.