South Africa: Duduzile Zozo murdered in anti-gay hate crime

The World

Duduzile Zozo, a 26-year-old lesbian, was found dead with a toilet brush in her vagina, the latest hate crime to occur in South Africa in recent months. 

Zozo was found half-naked in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg on Sunday, and her mother Thuziwe Zozo reportedly said she believed her daughter was killed because of her sexuality, the South African Press Association reported

Thokoza Police Captain Godfrey Maditsi said officials were awaiting a post-mortem to determine if she had been raped, according to the Times Live

He asked the public to come forward with any information about those who committed the murder. 

"We urge the community to approach police with any information that will lead to the arrest of people responsible for this barbaric act, so that they can face the full might of the law," Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane reiterated Tuesday. 

Cape Town's Democratic Alliance issued a scathing statement following the murder, saying that "government is not doing nearly enough to eradicate the scourge of violence against women and children in South Africa."

As they said in their statement: 

Although established over six months ago, the National Council Against Gender-Based Violence based within the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities has done very little to visibly deliver on its mandate, despite a R20 million budget. Furthermore, the Corrective Rape Task Team established by the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster to conduct a legislative audit of legislation pertaining to hate crimes in South Africa, has been silent since its creation in 2011.

Zozo's death is the latest incident in a recent string of anti-gay violence in South Africa.

A 17-year-old lesbian was raped multiple times last Wednesday, and was facing murder charges for killing the last man that raped her. 

Lunga Voko, a 23-year-old from Cape Town, was also attacked in April, allegedly over his sexuality, which his attackers said was questionable because he was "wearing tight shorts. 

Lesbian activist Noxolo Nogwaza was also raped and murdered on Easter Saturday in April 2011, the Times reported

Mbuyiselo Botha of civil rights organization Sonke Gender Justice, said that Africa still wrestles with entrenched homophobia. 

"There is a level of acceptance for violence against people who are thought of as different or unconventional," said Botha. "Unfortunately many people see being lesbian as un-African."