Gay man stabbed to death because he wanted to use the men’s bathroom. He was just 24

Emanuel Mouers

A 24-year old in South Africa was killed after an argument over which bathroom he should use.

Emmanuel Mouers was stabbed to death on 4 June following an altercation with an unnamed suspect at the Zone 14 tavern in Wallacedene.

The incident began after Mouers was cornered by a man who told him that he should not use the male toilet.

An anonymous person who witnessed the incident told Daily Voice: “They [the suspect] said he had decided to be a woman and so he shouldn’t use theirs.”

The witness claims that Emmanuel tried to ignore the man and continued to enter the toilet, after which the suspect punched Mouers in the face.

“He may have looked like a woman but he could fight so he beat up the suspect,” the witness added.

The suspect left but later returned with a knife and stabbed Mouers to death. The owner of the tavern drove Mouers to the hospital, but when they arrived, Mouers was dead.

South Africa continues to report high levels of homophobic violence (Photo credit should read PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

The tavern owner told Daily Voice: “I don’t know what the fight was about, all I know is that there was an altercation between the deceased and the suspect.”

At the time of writing no one has been arrested in connection with the killing.

Police captain FC Van Wyk said to Daily Voice: “Kraaifontein police are investigating a murder case. The circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation, but preliminary information suggests that a previous homophobic comment might be the motive for the attack.”

This is the sixth recorded anti-LGBTQ+ death in South Africa this year.

It comes after Nikki Chongwe, a 24-year-old Zimbabwean lesbian, was “stoned to death” after receiving threats over her sexuality. No suspect has been arrested in relation to her murder.

According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW), at least 20 LGBTQ+ people were murdered in South Africa in 2021.

In 2018, in a briefing on attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community, director of the LGBTQ+ organisation OUT Daiwe Nel said: “South Africa’s strong legal protections for LGBT people have had, and continue to have, a hugely positive effect on society including in government, where LGBT rights have been firmly enshrined in South Africa’s human rights framework.

“However, the country’s overall transition has been slow due to a number of intersecting factors such as poverty, weak governance and a strongly conservative and religious culture. These factors contribute to the higher levels of discrimination and exclusion LGBT people may still suffer from.”

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