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Mourning Lucky Motshabi, another LGBTI+ murder victim

On Saturday 24 April, the body of Lucky Kleinboy Motshabi was found in a field in Dennilton, Limpopo. His body was naked and marked with stab wounds.

It’s been reported by a friend of Motshabi’s that his place of residence had been ransacked and that the keys were found in the door.

Motshabi identified as a gay man and was well known to his community. No arrests have yet been made.

Motshabi’s death marks the seventh brutal murder of an LGBTI+ identifying person over the past two and a half months. Members of LGBTI+ communities nationally have been mourning the lives of their friends and loved ones and have expressed serious concerns about their own safety.

“It is safe to say that LGBTI+ murders have become a national crisis. Murders have taken place in five provinces over the course of two and a half months. There is a definite sense of fear and an overwhelming feeling that LGBTI+ communities are not safe in South Africa right now,” states Roché Kester, Hate Crimes Manager at OUT LGBT Well-being.

Civil society’s demands for remedies to these atrocious killings were handed to the Presidency in a joint statement after the 21 April Constitution Hill press conference that sought to shed light and give attention to the surge in hate crimes throughout the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made mention of the brutal killings in his Freedom Day speech to the nation but did not indicate how the government will address, implement or act on the demands that were made.

“We are not satisfied with lip service from the governing party. It needs to account for the lack of implementation of the Prevention and Combating of Hate Speech Bill which was first introduced in 2016. Without protective legislation and policy for LGBTI+ communities, we remain vulnerable and susceptible to violent crime. The presidency also needs to pay attention to preventative measures in relation to hate crimes,” says Kester.

“One must question if the lives of LGBTI+ South Africans are valued as there is limited visibility in terms of education, media visibility and awareness by government. The structures that have been established to seek justice for victims of hate crimes have collapsed during the advent of COVID-19.

“The Rapid Response Team, headed by the Department of Justice, has failed to fulfil its mandate due to lack of funding, sparse attendance by the South African Police Service and the incapacitation of the desk,” adds Kester. “This is not good enough.”

Motshabi’s funeral will take place this coming Saturday and the family has appealed to LGBTI+ persons and allies to donate toward funeral proceedings.

Donations can be made via the NPO called LASPHUMAKHONA. Bank details are as follows:

Account Holder: Mr AJ Mdluli
Account Number: 1308370316
Bank: Capitec
For more information, contact lasphumakhonaproject@gmail.com / 060 482 3160

Sign the petition calling for the SA government to take action against LGBTI+ hate.