Target: Mzwandile Petros, Police Commissioner of Gauteng Province, South Africa
Goal: Urge authorities to thoroughly investigate the murder of Noxolo Nogwaza, a 24-year-old gay rights activist.
On a spring night in 2011, Noxolo Nogwaza was brutally murdered while returning home from an evening out. Evidence suggests that the 24-year-old was the victim of a “corrective rape”–an attack meant to “cure” her of her homosexuality. It has been over a year, and no progress has been made in the investigation of Nogwaza’s death. Tell South African authorities that Noxolo Nogwaza cannot be swept under the rug and demand a full investigation into her murder.
Nogwaza, a lesbian, was a member of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organizing Committee, which seeks to empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people. The group said that Nogwaza was “was loved for being a mother, friend, soccer player and activist,” and that “she will never be forgotten by her loved-ones.”
Nogwaza’s death speaks to a much larger pattern of anti-LGBTI violence in South Africa. Attacks against gay, lesbian, and transgendered people in South Africa are, according to one activist, “premeditated, planned and often committed with impunity.”
A murder is a murder, and the sexual orientation of the victim does not excuse or justify such a violent and senseless act. Remind South African authorities of this–urge them to fully investigate the murder of Noxolo Nogwaza, activist, mother, and friend.
Dear Lt. Gen. Petros,
On April 24, 2011, Noxolo Nogwaza was brutally murdered in Kwa-Thema. According to news reports, she had been stabbed with broken glass, her face had been stoned, and nearby evidence (including condoms and a beer bottle) suggested that she had been raped.
Noxolo Nogwaza was a lesbian and activist who championed the rights of gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, and intersex people in South Africa. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have deemed her murder a homophobic hate crime. Despite all this attention, however, no progress has been made in the investigation into Noxolo Nogwaza’s horrific death.
Murder is murder, and the sexual orientation of the victim does not excuse or justify such a violent and senseless act. I implore you to stand up for the rights of a woman who was an activist, mother, and friend–find Noxolo Nogwaza’s killers and bring them to justice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Benson Kua via Flickr