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Gender group condemns South African 'gay slayings'

South Africa’s Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) said today the killings show “that some in our society are very intolerant” and called on police to move faster in dealing with the cases.

A memorial wall of photos shows well-known gay men and lesbians who have lived and died in Kwa Thema, east of Johannesburg
A memorial wall of photos shows well-known gay men and lesbians who have lived and died in Kwa Thema, east of Johannesburg
Image: Denis Farrell/AP/Press Association Images

FIVE GAY MEN have been killed in Johannesburg in the last year – and now South Africa’s Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) is calling on South African police to take the cases more seriously.

It said it is concerned about the long delays in the police dealing with the cases and that the perpetrators “deserve to face the full might of the law”.

It called on the Department of Constitutional Development and Justice to ensure that the situation is addressed.

Speaking to Johannesburg newspaper The Star, the commission’s spokesman said that these types of cases “are not taken seriously by the police or the justice department”.

The group said:

As enshrined in our Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered and intersexed people (LGBTI) have the same rights just like everyone else.
The continual hatred and killings of LGBTI people is a violation of [the] founding provision[s] of the South African Constitution which are equality and human dignity.

It said that such “horrendous deeds” rob society and families of good people and also show that some people in South African society “are very intolerant and unable to appreciate the diverse society that we live in”.

There has been a large number of murders of gay men and women in South Africa this year, with five gay men killed in Johannesburg in the past 18 months, according to The Star.

The Star said that the men were all tied up and strangled inside private homes and that police believe a serial killer or homophobic gang might be behind the murders.

Police also said that the men may have known their murderers, or invited them into their homes, as there was no sign of forced entry in these cases.

The CGE condemned the “continued use of culture” for “disguising criminal intent” against LGBTI people.

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