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GAY & LESBIAN PRIDE NEWS

Joburg Pride Wall of Rememberance

Play a part in commemorating the victims of hate crime


October 03, 2008

JOHANNESBURG — You can play a part in commemorating the victims of homophobic hate crimes at this Saturday’s Joburg Gay Pride Parade and Celebration at Zoo Lake Sports Club, proudly brought to you by 5FM and Flex Bender.

In addition to celebrating our diversity and freedoms, Joburg Pride has a serious side; signified this year by the theme ‘Love, Not Hate’. This will be reflected in the Joburg Pride Wall of Remembrance which will be erected at Zoo Lake Sports Club on Saturday.

The wall is dedicated to commemorating LGBT people who have suffered discrimination and have been victims of hate crimes. Joburg Pride calls on everyone to bring mementoes, prayers, poems, flowers, artworks and messages of support to be placed at or on the wall.

“If you know someone that was a victim, or have a message for one of the women brutally murdered because of their sexuality, or simply feel that you have something to say about hate crimes and discrimination then this is your opportunity to make your mark,” says Joburg Pride Co-chair Zak Mbhele.

The messages and artefacts will be kept by the Gay and Lesbian Archives (GALA) for posterity; ensuring that the Wall of Remembrance becomes part of LGBT history.

We Remember...

Sizakele Sigasa & Salome Masooa

Sizakele Sigasa was a lesbian HIV/AIDS and LGBTI activist and an outreach coordinator at the Positive Women’s Network. She is said to have played a prominent role, along with former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, during the formulation of the national strategic plan to fight HIV and Aids, persuading her to prioritise issues dealing with lesbian and gay rights.

Fifteen months before her death, Sizakele found a romantic partner in Susan Pheto. "I will never stop loving you," Susan pledged at Sizakele’s memorial. Sizakele lived in Meadowlands, Soweto along with her lesbian friend Salome Masooa.

On the 7th of July 2007 Sizakele and Salome’s bodies were found next to a dump site in Meadowlands.

Sizakele had her hands tied with her underpants while her ankles were tied with her shoelaces. She had three bullet holes in her head and three in her collarbone. Salome sustained a single gunshot wound to her head. They were both tortured and possibly raped before being killed.

Sizakele Sigasa was 34 years old. Salome Masooa was 23 years old.

Zoliswa Nkonyana

Zoliswa Nkonyana was born in Khayelitsha, Cape flats, in 1987. She lived as an openly lesbian woman. She was a member of the Winnie’s Soccer Club, which was established to try to keep young lesbians out of shebeens and other unsafe areas where they are often raped.

On the 4th of February 2006, while returning home from a local tavern in Khayelitsha, Zoliswa and a friend were attacked and threatened with rape for being lesbian by a mob of 20 men. While the friend escaped, Zoliswa was struck with bricks and bashed with golf clubs just a few meters from her house.

Her stepfather, Gcinumzi Mandindi, saw the murder from the back door of their home – unaware that the victim was the child he regarded as a daughter. When he realised that it was Zoliswa he rushed her in a friend's car to hospital where she later died.

After her brutal killing, her mother, Monika Mandindi said, "I loved my daughter and knew she was a lesbian even when she was a little girl. Everyone here accepted her for what she was. My heart is broken; she was my only God-given child."

Zoliswa Nkonyana was 19 years old.

Eudy Simelane

Daughter of Khotso and Mali Simelane, Eudy Simelane lived with her family at house number 1008 Tornado section, in KWA Thema. She was involved in many activities, most famously being a midfielder for the South African National Women’s Soccer team, Banyana Banyana. After leaving the team she continued to coach four soccer teams in her area. She was also studying towards becoming a referee.

Just days before her death, Eudy was due to start an exciting new permanent job as a merchandiser for a pharmaceutical company in Pretoria. She would finally have a regular income, medical aid and security for her family. She had also found happiness with a partner.

On the 28 of April 2008, Eudy’s body was discovered lying face down in a shallow river less than 200 metres from her home. She had been gang-raped and repeatedly stabbed. Almost 2 000 people attended her funeral. Speaking about the fact that her family had come to accept her sexuality Eudy’s mother said: “We didn’t have a choice. After all she was our daughter.”

Eudy Simelane was 31 years old.

To-date no-one has been convicted of any of these murders. – Issued by Joburg Gay Pride Festival


Related
Killers of Eudy Simelane appear before packed court
Joburg Pride 2008 to show it's love


 

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