Lesbian hate crime sparks fear in Thokoza
Bianca Laban says there are rumours being spread that people are threating to “finish all the gays”.
JOHANNESBURG - The best friend of an East Rand woman who was killed in a suspected hate crime has told Eyewitness News she fears for her life.
Bianca Laban was speaking during Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana's visit to Duduzile Zozo's mother in Thokoza on Thursday.
Zozo was sexually assaulted in what is believed to be a case of corrective rape. She was later killed and her body was dumped a few houses away from the small shack she shared with her mother and sister.
Laban said there have been rumours in the Thokoza community that certain people have been threatening to "finish all the gays".
"The question to the gay community is who is next? We're scared to go out at night."
Laban added she doesn't believe that the minister's assurances, that government will ensure the perpetrators are brought to book, will make a difference.
"We want to make sure that those who are responsible for these heinous crimes get the toughest sentences."
A number of suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack while investigations continue.
The minister's visit was part of the United Nations's Orange Day Campaign, held on the 25th of every month, to highlight the issue of violence against women and girls.
LESBIANS LIVE IN FEAR
Meanwhile, Dikeledi Sibanda also told Eyewitness News that after she was attacked, she was told by the police to find the address of her attacker before they could look into the matter.
Sibanda, who is also the victim of a hate crime, said the police were not doing anything to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.
She said it was difficult for gay and lesbian people to live freely in Thokoza.