KwaMakhutha LGBTQI+ community slams ANC for politicising murder of gay woman

On Wednesday, protesters converged on a local police station to demand justice for Anele Bhengu, a young lesbian who was murdered and dumped in an apparent hate crime.

 KwaMakhutha residents protest outside the local police station on 16 June 2021 following the murder of Anele Bhengu. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/Eyewitness News

DURBAN - Members of the LGBTQI+ community in KwaMakhutha have slammed the African National Congress (ANC), saying that it was politicising the murder of a local gay woman.

On Wednesday, protesters converged on a local police station to demand justice for Anele Bhengu, a young lesbian who was murdered and dumped in an apparent hate crime.

People wearing ANC regalia were part of the protest but local activists and Bhengu’s close friends said that political slogans and chants from the ANC-aligned South African Civic Organisation (Sanco) left them unsettled.

Bhengu’s body was discovered on Sunday morning - she'd been stabbed to death and dumped in a ditch.

Her family believed that she was also raped.

Scores of protesters turned out on Wednesday to demand action and they were joined by ANC-aligned groupings like Sanco.

Bhengu's best friend, Siphesihle Mchunu, said that it turned a community march centred on a young victim into an election campaign event.

"They came with their own agendas to promote the ANC. This is not on. I want justice for my best friend," Mchunu said.

Sanco's Thulani Gamede directed the programme during the march and read out a memorandum of demands on behalf of the LGBTQI+ community and he insisted that their actions were non-political.

"In fact, we have a relationship with gay and lesbian organisation - they set up support for us and we then supported the programme."

Bhengu's murder was the latest in a series of crimes against members of the LGBTQI+ community across the country this year that's prompted calls for Parliament to push through the Hate Crimes Bill.

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