Gay man left with smashed teeth and broken leg after ‘homophobic’ attack in South Africa

Mfundo Ngobese

A 24-year-old gay South African man is unable to walk after a brutal, “homophobic” attack.

Mfundo Ngobese was left with broken teeth, a broken leg and reliant on a urine bag after he was targeted in a suspected homophobic attack.

He was on his way home from a popular LGBT+ club, Albany 58, when he found himself surrounded by three men.

Speaking to Mamba Online, Ngobese said: “I wasn’t mugged. I had a phone with me, and they didn’t take it. They kept saying they hate gays. I believe I was punished for my sexuality.”

The attack took place near Durban City Hall in the early morning of 24 April.

Aside from the physical pain, Ngobese suffers “traumatic attacks each and every night” and his mental health has been affected greatly.

A professional model, he fears the injuries to his face could impact his livelihood.

Ngobese said he has tried opening a case with the police and has reported his injuries to them, but nothing has been done.

He said: “As the LGBTIQ community, we have suffered a lot, and when we open cases they are not taken seriously because of who we are.”

South Africa is one fo the few countries in Africa where same-sex marriage is legal. However, it has no laws protecting the LGBT+ community from crimes motivated by prejudice, leaving many like Ngobese vulnerable and with nowhere to turn.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned attacks against the LGBT+ community in the past, and in 2020 passed a law which prohibited marriage officers from refusing to marry same sex couples.

However, the government is being urged to tackle violence and hate crime

According to Mamba Online, between 12 February and 30 December 2021, 24 LGBT+ people were murdered because of their sexuality in the country.

The incident comes after the murder of non-binary lesbian Sheila Lumumba in Kenya.