Marchers demand action for murdered South African lesbian

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Gay rights activists have marched on a police building in South Africa to petition for action over murder and corrective rapes in the east of the country.

Hundreds of gay rights activists marched to the Kwa-Thema police station to voice their frustration over the police’s “inaction” in Johannesburg’s East Rand townships, South Africa’s Mail & Guardian reports.

As they marched they sang “Noxolo is not sleeping”, a reference to lesbian activist Noxolo Nogwaza, who was murdered earlier this year.

Lindi Masindwa, a member of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee, EPOC, which organised the protest, said: “It’s been three months since Noxolo was brutally murdered but we have seen no progress. We want the police to speed up the investigations.”

The group presented a memorandum to Ekurhuleni metro police department chief Hlula Msimang, calling for a greater commitment to investigating hate crimes against gays and lesbians.

Nogwaza’s cousin, Nonyaniso Nogwaza, told the Mail & Guardian that the police would only tell her “the case is still under investigation”.

She said: “The only way to bring peace to our hearts is if the police find the ­people who killed Noxolo and bring them to justice.”

In May this year Parliament set up a national task team to deal with hate murders and “corrective” rape, but activists question its effectiveness.

After Nixolo Nogwaza’s murder, Ntsupe, Chairperson of EPOC said: “It is very clear that these rapists are on a mission. We will not rest until justice prevails. Eudy’s case was not recognized as a hate crime against a lesbian and the same is not done in the cases of many other people who have been raped and/or murdered on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in South Africa.

“EPOC is determined to get to the bottom of the Noxola case and push for justice. It was definitely a hate crime.”