The brutal murder of up-and-coming musician Lindokuhle Cele has been denounced by politicians who attended the first court appearance of the alleged murderer in the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court in the south of Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza has described the murder as a homophobic attack.

The Umlazi Magistrate’s Court was packed to capacity as family members of Lindokuhle Cele and family of the murder accused, 23-year old, Mvuyisi Noguda attended Noguda’s first court appearance.

Both Noguda’s hands were bandaged when he appeared in the dock. Khoza attended the court proceedings and she criticised the brutal killing of Cele.

“It is unfair to our society that there is something that has gone wrong in our society, but we want to send a message to some other people who think of doing the same and say we should lay this to rest. At no stage can we allow people to do this and everyone has the right to choose what life he wants to live.”

Khoza says the department will organise awareness campaigns to educate community about same sexuality.  “We are as the Department  of Social Development going to have programmes that educate our community in accepting and teach people that they have right to live and we need to support them as communities.”

Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Martin Meyer also attended the case and says people must accept gay people and respect their rights.

“From the remarks the accused made after killing the victim, it is clear that the sexuality of the victim was a big motivator of this crime, it is something the DA concretise. We need to work together as civil society and political parties to take away the fear of gay communities and make them proud to walk in the street. Even you believe that gay is a sin but there is no need for violence against gay community.”

News of Cele’s murder was one of the top trending Twitter hashtags Justice4Lindo at the weekend. The case was postponed to 17 February for a bail application.