Activist group outraged by lesbian 'hate crime'

A gay activist group has appealed to government for assistance in stopping the increased homophobic attacks.

Gay pride flag. Picture:

CAPE TOWN - A gay activist group on Monday called on government to help stop the scourge of homophobic killings after the murder of a 19-year-old lesbian woman who was stabbed to death on Friday last week.

Media reports suggest Sihle Sikoli was walking from a tavern with a friend when they were attacked.

Friends of the young woman believe her murder is a hate crime.

Gay activist group Free Gender said not enough was being done to raise awareness about such killings.

The organisation's Funeka Sodaat said the rights of homosexuals are being sidelined by the state.

Sodaat said govern needed to launch an awareness campaign.

She said she believed these hate crimes deterred black people from revealing their sexual orientation.

"The environment is too hostile for people to be themselves, because they know what will happen if they come out."

Last month two women were attacked in Gugulethu, apparently because they were lesbians.

It is alleged that the two women were with friends when they were assaulted by a man, shortly after leaving a club in the township.

The man reportedly punched, kicked and slapped the women while calling them names.

The two had to be hospitalised.