The 17-year-old boy accused of killing a 22-year-old gay man from Nyanga has appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court.
The case was postponed to April 29 for bail information.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the accused had been charged with murder “for now” and has been accommodated in a place of safety in Bonnytoun.
While the suspect was appearing in court, Nyanga community and civil society organizations congregated for a gender-based violence awareness campaign in preparation for a bigger march.
Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said the organization participated in the campaign to try to raise awareness about the plight of vulnerable persons, particularly victims and survivors of gender-based violence.
“We visited the family and the spot where his body was found. Every person representing their organisations was denouncing what has been taking place with regards to the amount of violence and crime and gender-based violence in the area. People are tired, they want things to change because far too often these issues are going to be raised now but will die down later.
“They want action, a sense of transformative justice for the issue of crime and gender-based violence that has been plaguing the Nyanga community. We know very well that every single year since the past decade, Nyanga has been the murder capital. The lack of police resources plays a huge role in what we come to see with the high levels of lawlessness in Nyanga,” said Monakali.
Justice For Lonwabo Campaign representative Selina Tyatyeka said it had come to light that the perpetrator had been targeting members of the LGBTQIA+ community, as the community was made aware of a pending rape case against him.
“We want the justice system to know how much of a danger he is in the community, especially to the LGBTQIA+ community, as his alleged rape and killing of Lonwabo has exposed him.
“We believe that if the police were adequately patrolling the streets, this would not have gotten to a point where Lonwabo was killed, and for that we are demanding that there should be constant patrols in our areas.
“The incident brings back the memories of 2011 where my lesbian cousin was killed and her body found a year later in a dustbin. These hate crimes against the vulnerable groups are continuing and has caused outrage in the LGBTQIA+ community,” she said
Tyatyeka said the community will on Saturday march to the Nyanga police station to hand over a memorandum.
In other news – AKA finally speaks out on Nelli Tembe’s death
Nelli died on April 11 after apparently falling from the 10th floor of the Pepperclub hotel in Cape Town. At the time of her death, those close to AKA said he was beside himself with grief and had sought counselling. Learn More