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Gay community meet after murder

The gay community of Nyanga have met with police to discuss a way forward.

Phumeza Nkolonzi was shot dead in Nyanga allegedly because she was a lesbian. Picture: Malungelo Booi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of the gay and lesbian community in Nyanga on Tuesday met with law enforcement officials following the murder of a young woman.

Phumeza Nkolonzi was shot dead while at home in front of her five-year-old daughter at the weekend.

Gender activists insist she was killed because she was outspoken about her sexual orientation.

Members of the township's gay and lesbian braved the chilly conditions earlier to attend the meeting.

Most of those who gathered in the hall were women.

They met with police including the investigation officer in charge of Nkolonzi's case.

Eyewitness News was denied access to the meeting.

Earlier, Nkolonzi's relatives said they believed she was killed because she was lesbian.

Her mother has turned to medication to calm herself following the incident.

Her grandmother said the shooter had not said a word when the 21-year-old asked what she had done to deserve being shot.

She said the gunman shot her grandchild three times in front of her and a five-year-old child.

The granny said Nkolonzi's murder was a sign of how intolerant communities were of those who are perceived to be different.

Earlier in June, a 23-year-old lesbian was stabbed numerous times in Nyanga because of her sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, a group of gay asylum seekers has pleaded with government to help them integrate into South African society.

Their calls coincide with the release of a report by the People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (Passop).

The study found that lesbians, gays, transgender and inter-sexed foreigners still face discrimination in South Africa and not unlike what they have experienced at home.

Gay asylum seekers from among others the Congo, Somalia and Zimbabwe told some stories of how they were treated worse than dogs back home.

Many said they fled to South Africa because of its progressive laws protecting the rights of homosexuals.

But, years after their arrival in South Africa, they say homophobia and violent attacks against them persists.

They called on government to do more to guard their rights and stop the intolerance.

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