Iranti is a media
advocacy organisation
that defends the rights of Lesbians, Transgender
and Intersex persons
in Africa. 


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20 September 2018, South Africa

#JusticeForGugu: The Murder of Gugu Modise

On 1 September 2018, Gugu (Gustav) Modise, a trans woman, was brutally murdered in the North West town of Ventersdorp. Gugu’s stabbing is just the latest incident of many against members of the LGBT+ community in the region. Read more...


13 September 2018, South Africa

Home Affairs vs the heart: Wendy and Nomfundo's story

Wendy and Nomfundo Ngidi-Kessman are a loving couple like any other, but South Africa's Department of Home Affairs spent 18 months denying Wendy's right to a spousal visa. Without the visa, Wendy, who is from America, cannot live or work in South Africa with her partner. After a lengthy battle, through the courts and the media, Home Affairs finally bowed to pressure and validated the couple's marriage with a visa. But their fight may not be over yet... Watch the interview...



26 April 2018

Civil Union Amendment Act

We welcome the current action to overturn section 6, which has created this situation, through allowing for civil service marriage officers to decline to solemnise civil unions of couples of the same gender. This is the only instance where a marriage officer is entitled to refuse to solemnise a union.

We urge civil society and members of the public to submit their comments of support on the amendment to make it in line with human rights standards, through following this link by 28 April 2018. It’s an important action that will only take a few minutes of your time! Read more or click here to send a preprepared letter to Parliament:



31 March 2017

Transgender Victory in Limpopo: Nare Mphela's Story

In 2014, Iranti made contact with Nare Mphela, a high school learner in Limpopo Province who faced multiple forms of discrimination from her school principal due to her gender identity. Now, three years later, the Equality Court has ruled in Nare's favour, having found the principal and Limpopo Department of Education to have breached the Equality Act. This is an historic victory for queer South Africans nationwide! Watch the media report...


13 March 2017

Victory for transgender student in Limpopo!

It is with great pleasure that we announce an historic victory against the Limpopo Department of Education for failing to intervene in the discrimination against Nare Mphela. The Department was ordered by Seshego Equality Court to pay R60 000 in compensation to Mphela. Read more...


10 March 2017

Mdantsane school principal outs lesbian pupils

Iranti is deeply saddened to learn that Principal Nomampondomise Kosani of Ulwazi High School in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, forced 38 female pupils to reveal their sexual orientation in front of their peers and parents. Originally reported by Dispatch Live, the article states that the principal “refused to comment, saying how she dealt with “problems” at her school was not a matter for the media.” Read more…


1 September 2016

Women in Ventersdorp are terrorized by the 26’s Gang

Lesbian women fear for their safety as they face increased attacks, such as rape, death threats and psychological violence from a gang of men known as the 26s. SAPS is silent on this and prosecutor’s pass on these cases because they fear for their safety. Melissa Makau recently survived this ordeal. 


19 August 2016

South Africa. Death of Lesley Makousa

On Saturday 6 August 2016, the police found the deserted body of 16 year old Lesley Makousa in a nearby field of Promosa, in the North West Province. Lesley Makousa was a gay Grade 10 learner at Promosa Secondary School. Read more and watch the video (5:36 mins)...


6 May 2016

South Africa. LGBTI Hate crimes in the East Rand

The Eastrand and the Vaal region have been mostly affected. Iranti is currently following up and reporting on 1 murder case of Pascalina Malemu in the Vaal, 1 murder case of Tebogo Mkhonto in Volsolruus and 2 cases of Lucia Naidoo and Mabelandile Mohlabi in Katlehong. Iranti is also following up and reporting on a rape case in the Vaal and a hate crime incident against a trans* woman in Klerksdorp, North West. Watch the Iranti video report...


9 April 2016

South Africa. Hate crimes and Lesbian murders, a silent genocide in our South African Townships. In the past couple of months, Iranti has seen a rise in the cases of hate crimes especially the murder of lesbian women in our townships. So what is the State’s role in intervening? Read more...


7 April 2016

South Africa. The Elections Serve as a Painful Reminder of How the South African Government Renders Trans and Intersex People Non-Citizens. In 2014, transgender woman Nadia Swanepoel went on a hunger strike to protest discriminatory treatment at the hands of the Department of Home Affairs after the process to change her name and her gender marker on her identity document in terms of the Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act 49 of 2003 (Act 49) had been ongoing for over 3 years. Read more...


7 April 2016

South Africa. Born Free, Killed by Hate. Iranti assisted the BBC in producing this important story on increased hate crimes in South Africa. Listen to the podcast ...


8 March 2016
South Africa. Queer Conversations and Movement Growth in Limpopo. “People be careful, South Africa has not accepted you” were the words uttered by an LGBTI activist during the Zwakala workshop conducted by the Iranti team in Polokwane, Limpopo on 5 March. The purpose of the workshop was to create links with LGBTI community-based organizations. Read more...


24 February 2016
South Africa. Vaal LGBTI community speak out about their pain and their struggles for a safer community. Pascalina Melamu’s tortured and burnt body leaves a scar in the minds of all lesbians in South Africa, but in particular the Vaal lesbian community who knew her so well. Despite clear legal protections and a very progressive Constitution, South Africa continues to report some of the highest number of violent crimes and murders against lesbians. These murders when reported to the police (SAPS) are often handled in a sloppy manner, with almost no sense of urgency. Read more...


18 January 2016

South Africa. Motshidisi Pascalini Melamu, a 21 year old lesbian, excelled and passed her matric, but she was raped, mutilated and murdered before she could even learn of her victory.  On 18 December 2015, her body was found in an open field in the Vaal region of Johannesburg. Read more...


14 April 2014

Johannesburg. EFF vows to represent ‘LGBTI’ despite its manisfesto being invisible on the matter and Julius Malema previously expressed in public that there is no such thing as a hermaphrodite in Pedi, that there is only a woman or a man, therefore nobody should impose their imperialism on him. Read more...


27 November 2013

Cape Town. 22 years in jail for the man who raped a lesbian to “show her she was a woman”. In 2011 Andile Ngcoza raped Millicent Gaika, a lesbian, to force her to have a baby so that she would recognise her role as a woman. Ngcoza showed no remorse in court and has a slew of previous convictions, including rape and anal rape. Free Gender, a lesbian advocacy group, supported Gaika throughout the trial. Read more at the Cape Times.


June 30, 2013

South Africa. Iranti's most recent gender-oriented hate crime murder case is that of Duduzile Zozo she was 26 years old. She lived in Tokoza, east of Johannesburg. Her body was found on 30 June 2013 in her neighbour's yard, her pants was pulled down to her ankles, a toilet brush was forced into her vagina. She was beaten with a concrete brick and clearly suffered as she died.


June 29, 2012

South Africa. Andritha Thapelo Morifi lived a an out lesbian in Phola Park, Mokopane. She was killed on 29 June 2012 in her home with a braai-fork inserted into her throat.


June 9, 2013

South Africa. Thapelo Makhutle was killed because of his sexual orientation. Thapelo was brutally killed on 9 June 2012, and almost a year later, his the trial will be heard in the Vryburg High Court. Iranti, continues to document the case and advocate for justice and an end to hate crimes.


April 21, 2013

South Africa. Iranti is documenting the death of Patricia Mashigo, a lesbian mother murdered on 21 April 2013 in Daveyton, Johannesburg. The SA Police Services have not yet investigated the case. Instead, the police had stopped Iranti from documenting the case and created bureaucratic obstacles.


July, 2012

South Africa. Bonisiwe Mtshali was brutally attacked by 3 security guards at the Carlton Centre after seen kissing her lover Khanyisa Ndoda. Phindi Malaza, an activist for LGBTI justice from FEW, called upon Mpho Nefuri, a human rights lawyer, and together with Iranti, we supported Bonisiwe's fight for justice




Table of contents



Beyond Identities Initiatives (BII)

Young LGBTI activists from Soweto, Kliptown and Thembisa have come together and formed a group. Their main focus is to seek out opportunities that enhance their life skills and broaden their understanding on sexuality and identity.  They host regular workshops on computer training, human-rights training and engaging in spaces that address violence towards LGBTI persons. Iranti works with Beyond Identities Initiatives (BII) and most recently we have presented on Identities and the Body. BII attended Iranti’s workshop on Arts and Activism. Currently, we are working on a youth-and-parents dialogue.



Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW)

FEW was established by black lesbian women activists living in Johannesburg in 2001. In a post 1994 South Africa and with the new constitution of 1996 recognising sexual orientation within the equality clause, it was clear that we had to organize ourselves to ensure that we were
able to claim and live the rights entrenched
in the constitution.


Gender DynamiX

Gender DynamiX is the first African based organisation solely focusing on the transgender community. The aim of our organisation is to provide help, advise and information for those who seek to adjust their lives to live in the opposite gender role, as to that assigned to them at birth, or who are working to come to terms with their situation despite their genetic background. Gender DynamiX provides resources, information and support to trans folks, their partners, family employers and the public.




S.H.E, is a social, health and empowerment feminist collective of transgender and intersex women of Africa. S.H.E, trans* feminism is more than aligning the transgender movement to the feminist movement in Africa. They are pioneering an African trans* feminist movement aimed at inclusion. S.H.E challenges conventional conservative views on feminism; and therefore they seek to expand feminism to recognise the problems of African trans and intersex women within the feminist sphere.



South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)

The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) was formed to strengthen the strong political leadership as well as to ensure inclusion of civil society in the overall response to HIV and AIDS. The Council is composed of both government and civil society organisations.


Transgender Intersex Africa

Transgender and Intersex Africa is organisation that has been initiated and is led and staffed by black transgender and intersex individuals to focus on black transgender and intersex issues in South Africa. Our aim is to break the silence and stop ignorance about the existence of the black Transgender and Intersex community in South Africa especially in the rural areas and black townships. We also want to bring the knowledge of applicable terminologies and a better understanding of the condition, however not dismissing the indigenous knowledge of African transgender and intersex identity.



Uthingo-The Rainbow

Is an LGBTI group based in Daveyton, Etwatwa and the greater Benoni.  Uthingo-The Rainbow is a community-based NGO focusing on empowerment and building activism based on skills development. Uthingo-The Rainbow is collaborating with Iranti on building media activists. Iranti is working and training six members of Uthingo-The Rainbow on photography, social media and civic reporting.













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