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'Rights of black homosexuals still ignored in SA'

Yonela Tyatyeka says she realised the danger of being openly gay in SA following her sister’s murder.

FILE IMAGE: A small rainbow flag, representing equality for members of the LGBTI community. Picture: Stock.XCHNG

CAPE TOWN - A gay rights activist says the rights of black homosexual people are still being ignored.

Yonela Tyatyeka says she realised the danger of being an openly gay person in South African society after her older sister Ntsiki was raped and killed in 2010, reportedly for being a lesbian.

Tyatyeka says it is especially difficult growing up in a township or informal settlement where prejudice is rife.

"I had to go to school and people were talking about it. People have different versions. They say Ntsiki was a bad person or she was killed by her boyfriend. Whereas we really know that Ntsiki was gay and she was open about it."

'WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR EACH OTHER'

Meanwhile, radio host and author Wanda Bam says gender-based violence stems from a broken society in which people don't stand up for each other.

Bam says she had been abused for 15 years by her former husband, before she left him.

She says although South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, many people are moving backwards when it comes to protecting each other's rights.

Bam says abuse against women and children is often perpetuated by society's reactions to the scourge.

"I am not covering for any man. I think we are sitting with hurting and broken men. I think they need healing, seriously. We sit with women who are paralysed and they don't stand up for what's happening to them, especially in the Afrikaner environment as people would look at you, judge you and even say you were looking for it."

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