24 year-old lesbian activist Noxolo Nogwaza , was stoned, gang-raped, and stabbed with broken glass in KwaThema, Johannesburg over Easter weekend last month.
The act is called “corrective rape”. It’s an increasing atrocity where males rape lesbians to “correct” or “fix” their sexual orientation.
Ndumi Funda, founder of gay rights organization Luleki Sizwe, took action when she felt they local authorities weren’t doing enough to capture those responsible for Noxolo Nogwaza’s death. She created a petition at Change.org of which 170,000 people from around the world rallied for the authorities to take “corrective rape” seriously.
The justice and constitutional development ministry says a national task team is to tackle hate crimes against lesbians and gays.
BBC News Reports: That Justice ministry spokesman Tlali Tlali said the the task team would begin its work in July and include six representatives from the judiciary, police and department of social development and six representatives from the gay community.
“The team will be charged with developing a legislative intervention plan, a public awareness strategy, and LGBTI-sensitive shelters,” Tlali said.
Change.org representative Benjamin Joffe-Walt said what was accomplished through the campaign was “remarkable”.
“In less than six months, a tiny group of township activists has mobilised more than 170 000 people from 163 countries and gotten the highest levels of government to address their basic demand, that the sadistic crime of ‘corrective rape’ be taken seriously.”
Ndumie Funda is encouraged by the government’s task team, but says the fight is not over. “It shows that they are willing to work with the gay community, but we continue to fight for LGBTI rights until the last drops of blood are spilled.”