Murder Suspect Caught in Brutal Slaying of LGBTI Volunteer in South Africa

By Melanie Nathan, June 26, 2012.

A suspect has been caught in the brutal murder of  Thapelo Makuthle in Kuruman, near Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa.

The accused Sizwe Tajini,was found at his mother’s house in Welkom using  the deceased’s laptop computer. He was staying with his father in Seoding , the same village as the victim Thapelo, at the time of the murder. At a brief appearance in Mothibistad Court the accused according to local activists, showed no remorse and was arrogant in court. The case has been postponed for bail hearing to the 3 July 2012 .

The attack and murder of  Thapelo Makuthle was particularly brutal as the victim’s neck was almost severed from his body. There were also reports that his genitals had been cut.   Activists had reported that the victim was accosted at a night club the night before his body was found and harrassed for being gay and transgender.

Unconfirmed reports are alleging that the accused Sizwe admitted to the crime. Activists have asserted that they have no doubt that the murder was a hate crime and that Thapelo was targeted for being gay.

Activists are calling for a large showing on July 03 to ensure that the accused murderer does not get bail.   Demonstrations will start with a march from the Mothibistad Fourway to the Mothhibistad Court in Kuruman.

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