LGBTQI+ community in KwaMakhutha living in fear after lesbian resident murdered

This week, the community woke up to harrowing news that a young lesbian resident, Anele Bhengu, had been stabbed to death and dumped in a ditch in a suspected hate crime.

The body of Anele Bhengu was discovered on 13 June 2021 in a ditch near a school in the KwaMakhutha community, south of Durban. Picture: Supplied.

DURBAN - Members of the LGBTQI+ community in KwaMakhutha, south of Durban, said that they were living in fear following the death of one of their own.

This week, the community woke up to harrowing news that a young lesbian resident, Anele Bhengu, had been stabbed to death and dumped in a ditch in a suspected hate crime.

This was the latest in a series of similar murders across the country this year alone.

President Cyril Ramaphosa used his Youth Day address to the nation on Wednesday to condemn attacks on members of the LGBTQI+ community.

"We must say no to violence against members of the LGBTQI+ community. Homophobia-fuelled violence has no place in our society," the president said.

But for community members in KwaMakhutha, the president's words meant little.

They told stories of pervasive homophobia and a justice system that was ill-equipped to deal with the fallout.

Sabelo Ntethe said that her family had become increasingly concerned for her safety since Bhengu's murder.

"Our parents are concerned right now. They are very, very scared. My mom is always calling me every day, asking me if I'm home or not."

Another lesbian woman, Phumzile Makhoba, told Eyewitness News that she was assaulted in 2018 in an alleged homophobic incident but three years on, local police had yet to assist.

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