Four homophobic lesbian killer killer jailed

Four South African men have been sentenced to 18 years in jail for stabbing and stoning to death 19-year-old lesbian Zoliswa Nkonyana in 2006.

The court found that the men killed Ms Nkonyana because she was living openly as a lesbian.

A crowd outside the court in Khayelitsha, a Cape Town township, cheered and danced at the sentencing.

The constitution protects people on the grounds of sexual orientation – but homophobia is widespread.

Lubabalo Ntlabathi, Sicelo Mase, Luyanda Londzi and Mbulelo Damba – who were convicted in October – were each given 18 years.

Their jail terms were each suspended for five years.

Five other people were acquitted.

Ms Nkonyana was stoned and stabbed nine times in February 2006, just metres from her home in Khayelitsha.

The magistrate said it was clear the motive for the killing was hatred and homophobia – and Wednesday’s sentence was meant to send out a signal that violence based on sexual orientation will not be tolerated, the South African Press Association reports.

In December, the global rights group Human Rights Watch said in a report that South Africa is “desperately failing lesbian and transgender people” – despite the country’s liberal laws.

The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says violence against gay and lesbian people is common.

Lesbians are often subjected to “corrective rape” by men who think this will “cure” them of their homosexuality.

Three years ago, a man was sentenced to life in prison and another to 32 years for the gang rape, robbery and murder of Eudy Simelane, a lesbian activist who had been a midfielder on the national football team.



Pills for sexual prowess improvement killed three women

After taking pills that were supposed to make them feel better in bed, two young women from South Africa died a couple of hours after taking them while the third one lost her life later at the hospital. According to a local newspaper, the young women actually bought the pills from someone claiming the drugs will act like a great sexual appetite enhancer.

The local traditional healer gave them those drugs and on top of that the women also received some herbs that would make them feel better due to the fact the drugs cause them to feel ill. These tragic deaths took place on Saturday night near the city of Duban and the South African police has started to investigate this case and they are trying to find the supplier.

One interesting fact that arises from this case is why three girls aged between 18 and 20 would need pills for enhancing their sexual appetite? That is an age where hormones are running through all over your body and giving the fact that not one but three girls were in the same situation definitely rises some questions. They could indeed have problems with their sexual “hunger” but in the same time, those drugs might not have been bought for sexual pleasure but for anything else?

The final conclusion will come from South African police though and we should wait and see whether the girls really had some sexual problems or not.


South African president Jacob Zuma asks $700,000 for defamation

Jacob Zuma has been charged of rape in 2008 and it seems this is still following him nowadays. Right after the accusation, Times newspaper created a cartoon with the president preparing to rape a woman that symbolized justice and now South African president is asking for justice – he has filled a defamation suit in which he asks for $700,000.

A lawyer of the Sunday Times said until now Mr. Jacob Zuma has not threatened with a sue and this is quite unexpected while it was launched in the same time with the discussions regarding media freedom. Zuma’s party has secretly proposed a low that gives the freedom of imprisoning reporters for sharing classified information. Moreover, according to the law proposed by African National Congress party, they would like to create a media tribunal, ruled by politicians with unlimited powers for punishing journalists.

On the other hand, Jonathan Shapiro, the cartoonist that created this scandal and also one of the best South African political cartoonists said this sue will only create more buzz about what happened in 2008 and the one that will suffer will be Zuma as well while the rumors said he tried to intimidate authorities 2 years ago when the accusation was released. It seems that the African National Congress party was involved in a massive protest for the charges to be dropped and the prosecutors somehow dropped them.

A formal complaint was filed back in 2008 but the commission decided that the cartoon stays under the radar and does complain to Zuma’s constitutional rights to dignity, though i twas offensive and distasteful, according to journalists.

Jacob Zuma is asking for $570,000 for humiliation and degradation and $140,000 for damage to his reputation. In the same time, Jonathan Shapiro says the case is almost a victory, both for him and for freedom of speech.


Man arrested after probably killed his wife in South Africa

South African authorities arrested Shrien Dewani, a 31-year-old man from Bristol UK, under suspicion of conspiring to murder his wifeon honeymoon. Anny Dewany, 28-year-old from Sweden has been kidnapped from a taxi last month and found shot to death and according to the taxi driver, Mr. Zola Congo, it seems that Shrien Dewani offered him £1,400 to kill Anny.

Mr Dewani will appear before the City of Westminster magistrats later and his family already considers these acusations totally absurd. After South Africa prosecutor release an extradition request, Scotland Yard caught Mr Dewany and will held him until they receive full documentation for extradition.

Max Clifford, his spokesperson said that Dewani had surrended at a police station in Bristol and he is cooperating with the authorities in order to prove that he is innocent. He says he was not involved in his wife’s murder. Taxi driver received 18 years in jail for murder, kidnapping and robbery but he would have received more years if he had not agreed to a plea bargain. Furthermore, 23 year-old Xolile Mnguni and 25 year-old Mziwamadoda Qwabe were charged for murder, kidnapping and robbery.

Anny Dewany was kidnapped near Cape Town in her honeymoon and after she was found dead, he husband returned to UK saying it has nothing to do with his wife’s murder. However, after Tuesday’s testimony from the taxi driver, a warrant for Mr Dewani was released and forwarded to UK autorithies and it is to be expected how the process will take its course, what other relevant witnesses may appear in the future but one thing is sure, according to Sally de Beer, brigadier at South African Police Service – the justice will take its course in this matter and truth will be revealed.


South African officials angry about school gang-rape

Two boys participated to a gang-rape on Thursday when they drugged two girls and raped one of them during school hours at Jules High School in Jepperstown, South Africa. They filmed this on their cellphones and they will appear to the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court today.

The problem that rises from this rape is the incapacity of South African school to respond to this horrible act. Right groups and ministers have already firmly responded to this issue while it seems that the school’s officials instead of protecting the victim’s rights were more concerned not to upset the boys during their exams. Also, the minister for women, children and persons with disabilities, Lulu Xingwana said that all authority people suspecting child abuse must report this kind of incidents and this is also available when it comes to teachers.

With one of the highest incidence of rape worldwide, South Africa’s minister for children said that sexual and physical abuse of young people should have zero tolerance from authorities. Although the boys will appear in front of the justice, they were not immediately arrested because that could lead to a trauma during the exams. Moreover, the teachers saw the video with the rape and instead of reporting it to authority, they found it rather “hilarious”.

A minister in the presidency already interfered and urged to authorities to treat this case as a priority while already the worldwide media has been outraged by the way officials deal with these extreme cases. Collins Chabane added that abuse should not be tolerated in South Africa society, let alone in their schools, however this seems to happen more often lately. Although three boys participated to this gang-rape, only two were arrested yesterday while it seems the third boy was not involved “physically“. The investigation is still on.