FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09 February 2020
ERRATUM: MEC KHOZA CONCERNED ABOUT CONTINUOUS HOMOPHOBIC MURDERS IN THE PROVINCE
KWAZULU-NATAL Social Development MEC Mrs Nonhlanhla Khoza calls on communities to stand up and fight the scourge of homophobic attacks and murders in the province. She made this call reacting to the brutal attack and murder of popular Durban musician Lindokuhle Cele in Umlazi Township yesterday.
It’s alleged that Cele was stabbed by an attacker at a local shop. A knife was left stuck in Cele’s eye. It is understood that the incident was a homophobic attack, as the alleged perpetrator is said to have made homophobic slurs against Cele.
He later died in hospital as a result of injuries he sustained during the attack. “It is important for all of us to accept that in our communities, we have people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) living with us and who are part of our families. It is very painful that even today we still speak of such incidents in our society where people get murdered for living their lives the way they want to.
“Cele's murder points that we are facing a crisis in our society where people fail to respect the right to life. It is clear that Cele’s killer had no conscience or sympathy of the pain inflicted upon the family and the society at large. Our government and other stakeholders have done a lot to educate our communities about the LGBTQI community. These days, we shouldn't be talking about discrimination or murders that are fuelled by homophobia,” said MEC Khoza.
The MEC added that she found comfort in the fact that Cele's alleged attacker had been arrested and is currently behind bars. She called on the court to deny the accused bail. MEC Khoza said she was annoyed that Cele's attacker even told him he was opposed to his life of as a gay person. “For the attacker to say in his life he has never seen a beautiful guy who is famous and loved by many people is an indication of sickness. How do you kill someone for being loved in the community,” she further said.
MEC Khoza called for the wheels of justice to grind and ensure that the arrested perpetrator receives stiff sentence for his awful actions. Our courts set an example about people involved in such murders and discrimination,” she added.
MEC Khoza reiterated that all individuals have an equal right to live free from violence, persecution, discrimination and stigma. The Department of Social Development will be rolling programmes throughout the province to try and eradicate homophobic attitudes including discrimination, abuse and murders of gays and lesbians.
“We cannot continue like this where people feel unsafe in their country because of their sexual orientation or based on who they choose to love. As the department, we are going to be going out throughout the province to engage communities to end these despicable incidents.”
She has dispatched a team of social workers to Cele’s family to provide psycho-social support. “We send condolences to the Cele’s family, friends and community to Umlazi. We will continue to be with them to provide support they need,” concluded MEC Khoza
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
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