Another woman killed in Umlazi, family calls for swift justice

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The family of a 32-year-old woman, who was stabbed to death in Umlazi last week, allegedly by a man who wanted to be in a relationship with her, have called for swift justice.

Pinky Shongwe’s family believes her death was a hate crime because she was openly lesbian. Police say they are investigating a case of murder. No one has been arrested.

Shongwe, who loved sports, played for the Ugu District Municipality soccer team. Her life was cut short by an unknown man.

The family says the man was trying to court her when she turned his proposal down. It is said that the man allegedly became angry when Shongwe explained that she was dating other women.

Shongwe was stabbed several times.

Shongwe’s sister, Nombuso says her sister had every right to be open about her sexuality.

“Pinky went just up the road with other friends when she was coming back, a man approached her and proposed love to her. Pinky told him that she was not interested in men since she is dating women, which angered the man and he took out a knife and stabbed her.  Pinky was a very quiet person and respected people, I wish the person who killed her be found.  We want justice as the family, everyone has a right to life and live the life they want and have a right not to hide their sexual preference, Pinky was openly gay,” says Nombuso.

KwaZulu-Natal Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala says no arrests have been made so far…

“On the 13th of March at six Umlazi police received a phone call of a body that was seen on a pathway in Umlazi H-section and they proceeded to the scene.Uupon arrival at the said place police found the body of a woman with an open wound and other injuries on her eye and she was declared dead on the scene.  The circumstances surrounding the incident are still being investigated and the case of murder is being investigated by Umlazi SAPS,” says Gwala.

In 2021, Human Rights groups called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently address the attack of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI+) community. This was after a spate of these hate crimes across the country were reported.

Mthokozisi Gazu of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of South Africa says he has lost hope that the battle to curb such hate crimes will be won in the country.

“It is a sad day for the LGBTQI community because just last year we witness a spike in hate crimes murders in this country. We even called for the introduction of a hate crime register whereby we even wrote His Excellency President of the Republic to complain about the National Task Team established by the then Jeff Radebe. We are yet to receive a response we haven’t received any response, we wanted to articulate our position nothing has happened. I don’t see these hate crime-stopping any time soon because our leaders in society and in government are too shy to address the issue,” says Gazu.

Gazu says it is also concerning that despite same-sex marriage being legalised in 2006 through the Civil Union Act, the (LGBTQI+) community is still vulnerable and unsafe.