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South Africa: Corrective Rape Claims Another Victim

The unending cases of “corrective rape” that have plagued South Africa at alarming levels are still on the rise. Corrective rape is a criminal practice, whereby men rape lesbian women, purportedly as a means of “curing” the woman of her sexual orientation.

The latest victim is a twenty-four year old soccer player from Johannesburg who was stabbed to death minutes after dropping off her girlfriend. DA newsroom reports:

Ms Nogwaza’s murder – she was stoned, stabbed and gang-raped – is now the latest in what has become a string of violent assaults known as “corrective rapes”, which are allegedly intended to “cure” members of the gay and lesbian community of their sexual orientation. The Democratic Alliance (DA) unequivocally condemns these crimes and the contemptible motives behind them in the strongest terms. They are an affront to the constitutional values of freedom and equality which we all hold dear, and have rightly outraged progressive South Africans everywhere who recognise that gay rights are also human rights.

Noxolo was an avid LGBT campaigner and also worked at the Ekurhuleni Pride Organizing Committee. This is a continuous series of several rapes, some leading to death in South Africa; a month before another thirteen year old lesbian was also raped in Pretoria:

A 13-year-old lesbian girl was raped in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, says the department of justice and constitutional development.

“Government condemns this senseless and cowardly act of criminality,” department spokesman Tlali Tlali said in a statement on Friday.

He said the girl, who was open about her sexuality, was raped in what seemed to be an act of “corrective rape” on Thursday.

According to activists, lesbian women are often victims of “corrective rape”, which is forced sex with a man to “cure” their sexuality.

The department said every South African had the right to express themselves in the sexual orientation of their choice.

Tlali said police and the National Prosecuting Authority’s sexual offences and community affairs unit would investigate the case.

The girl and her family would also receive assistance from the department of justice and the department of social development.

Millicent Gaika, another victim of corrective rape in South Africa. Photo source: lezgetreal.com

Millicent Gaika, another victim of corrective rape in South Africa. Photo source: lezgetreal.com

As South Africans celebrated the 17th independence anniversary last month, Sokari noted that black lesbians had little to celebrate:

Today is the 17th anniversary of South Africa’s independence but for Black lesbians there is little to celebrate as today we learn of the rape and murder of yet another young sister. The Constitution debated and formed to protect all South Africans has failed the majority of South Africans. It has shamefully failed the most vulnerable people in the country and in particular young Black lesbians. The body of Noxola Nogwaza was found on Sunday morning. This is just 4 weeks after the body of 20 years old Nokuthula Radebe was discovered and which has not even been reported in the media. The pain of these brutal attacks grows and my heart goes out to their family and friends. May both Nogwaza and Nokuthula Rest in Peace

Ben Khumalo Seegelken commented on Sokari's post:

Disgusting crimes and violation of human rights will continue ravaging society as long as only a few stand up and raise their voice in protection of marginalised individuals and minorities: Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends, teachers and neighbours – each one of us could prevent criminals from intimidating or doing harm to girls and boys, men and women living among us – our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues, neighbours and students, teachers and leaders – by making it clear for everybody that we accept and respect them as unconditionally as we do accept and respect ourselves and everybody else. Every family is diverse – it consists of people of different identities and orientation; the community as well. None of the various different identities – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and others – ought to be marginalised or discriminated against!

Sarinmona was deeply disturbed:

I am deeply distured by this. What a shame. You have to be very careful who you tell your business to. Some men hate you for being gay. They will take your life and not even blink. Some women will roll their eyes at you thinking that you want them. Being gay doesn't rub off. You can't catch it. Truth be told gay people are very picky and probably not even look at you, so don't be scared. The violence must stop. I pray they rise up for this poor young woman. They should find those men and YES publicly do to them what they did to her. Excuse me, I have to go throw up now. I am sick to my stomach.


The New Black Woman is sad
to know there are women in a country as modern as South Africa who continue to face the threat of “corrective rape”:

Rape is about controlling and exerting power and dominance over women. Rape is about instilling fear in the hearts and minds of women. It pains me to know there are women in a country as modern as South Africa who continue to face this threat each and every day just because they don't conform into heterosexual or cisgender norms. It sickens, but doesn't surprise me, to know there are men out there who are willing to utilize such violence and hatred towards women because they don't fit their standards of what it means to be a woman.

Ironically, a man's willingness to and society's tolerance of rape to put me in my place reminds should remind women of the everlasting second-class citizenship we continue to hold in the global world.

Luleki Sizwe, a South African charity that works to rescue, support, feed and nurse to health survivors of corrective rape, created a petition last year on change.org targeting South African Justice Minister Jeffrey Radebe, calling on the South African government to declare “corrective rape” a hate-crime.

Corrective rape cases are on the rise despite South Africa being the the first African country to legalize same-sex marriage and the world’s first republic to guarantee LGBT citizens equal rights.

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