Gay man stabbed to death by homophobic thug ‘just for being different’

Mvumisi Tshonepi, who was stabbed to death in Langa

A mother has demanded justice after her 26-year-old gay son was stabbed to death in a homophobic attack in South Africa.

Mvumisi Tshonepi was walking with his friend on Sunday (25 September) when he was confronted by an individual who made several homophobic comments before stabbing him in the chest.

Tshonepi was taken to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead by health officials.

Western Cape police spokesperson Fredrick van Wyk said the killer fled the scene on foot and has yet to be found by authorities.

‘Stabbed just for being different’

Mvumisi’s mother, Nomboniso Konzapi-Tshonepi, has since vowed to go without rest until the killer was found.

“I don’t understand why they would stab him to death because he is not a violent person,” she told News24. “He was stabbed just for being different.

“He was stabbed because he was gay and what I am sure of is that whoever did this is from around the area. It was not a robbery at all because he was called nasty and sexually discriminatory names before the incident.

“I want the suspect behind bars and also to tell why he did what he did to my son.”

Konzapi-Tshonepi said her son was “accepted in his family and the community” and, since the incident, her home had been packed with “people from all walks of life” paying tribute.

She added it was a testament to her son’s love for the Langa community and its people.

“It’s hard to believe anyone could have wanted to hurt him,” she continued.

Langa community police forum organiser Alfred Magwaca said the incident left residents in shock and is “unbecoming” of Langa.

“We are trying to do as much as we can to encourage people to not be vigilantes or perpetrate crimes of any kind,” Magwaca said. “There are so many interventions in place, but it seems that people aren’t heeding the call to denounce such hate crimes.

“These senseless killings have no place in our communities.”

Additionally, Kasi Pride founder Luxolo Ndlovu said holding Pride events in Langa and South Africa, in general, is extremely difficult, saying that “most heterosexual men in the township have issues with gay people“.

“There is a need for dialogues to take place to educate people in the township that we are just people with the same needs to be loved, cared for, and accepted like anyone else.”