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Noxolo Nogwaza: DA condemns "corrective" rape and murder of LGBT activist

Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA National Spokesperson
4 May 2011

The violent rape and murder of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) activist Noxolo Nogwaza in KwaThema, Johannesburg over the Easter weekend was a gruesome and dispiriting reminder that many of the hard-won rights and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution are still far from being a reality for many of South Africa’s people.

Ms Nogwaza’s murder – she was stoned, stabbed and gang-raped – is now the latest in what has become a string of violent assaults known as “corrective rapes”, which are allegedly intended to “cure” members of the gay and lesbian community of their sexual orientation. The Democratic Alliance (DA) unequivocally condemns these crimes and the contemptible motives behind them in the strongest terms. They are an affront to the constitutional values of freedom and equality which we all hold dear, and have rightly outraged progressive South Africans everywhere who recognise that gay rights are also human rights.

We welcome the announcement yesterday by Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Development Spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, that the Department will be setting up a task team in conjunction with the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Department of Social Development, and representatives of the LGBT activist community, to investigate legislative and policy solutions to what is fast becoming a crime epidemic in South Africa.

I will also, at the next sitting of Parliament, propose a motion to debate the scourge of “corrective rape” in South Africa, not only to seek solutions to the crisis, but also to ensure that the National Assembly – the people’s Parliament – is at the centre of providing leadership to South Africans about the true meaning of equality under the Constitution and the rule of law – particularly with respect to the rights of gay and lesbian members of our communities.