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

 

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DUDUZILE ZOZO: MURDER UPDATE

Duduzile Zozo's community and family disappointed about court's postponement

 

Johannesburg, 9 July 2014

On 29 June 2014, Duduzile Zozo's memorial evoked much emotion, a year after she was murdered. Iranti-org in partnership with IHAWU and FEW along with Lesbian activists from the eastern region of Johannesburg convened at the site where Duduzile Zozo was murdered on 30 June 2013. Thuziwe Zozo and her family felt a sense of comfort that the Lesbian community have not forgotten Duduzile. There is much more frustration from the community pertaining to the lack of details on why the magistrate's court decided to postpone the case to October 2014.

 

Duduzile Zozo: Commemoration

In Memory of Duduzile Zozo (1987-2013)

 

Johannesburg, 7 July 2013

by Jabulani Pereira, photographs by Gugu Mandla

 

LGBTI activists, women’s rights groups and the broader community gathered at the site where Duduzile Zozo was brutally murdered on the 30 June 2013. IHAWU in partnership with FEW and Iranti-org commemorated the life of Duduzile. Her family, joined the commemoration and her mom in particular, Ms Thuziwe Zozo remains a strong advocate for justice. The Court has recently posted the case to October 2014, without providing sufficient details on why justice should be delayed. There appears to be very little understanding between the Court and the newly formed rapid response team from the Department of Justice. This team comprising of SAPS, the NPA and the Department of Justice are tasked with prioritizing cases pertaining to hate crimes.

 

Ms Zozo is frustrated by the delays but her response is one of feeling helpless. “what must we do? We are told we just have to wait? So there is nothing I can do.”

There are growing fears that when the sun sets over Thokoza, Katlehong and other areas, Lesbians fear going out at night and many prefer to stay at home. This is an issue not only for the LGBTI community, but for women and men as interpersonal violence, injuries and death remain the highest cause of disabilities and death in South Africa.

 

As we commemorate and remember Duduzile Zozo, we are aware that South Africa is regressing in its constitutional mandate related to our human rights. Last week, at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the South African government voted in favour of a narrow definition of what constitutes the family and this essentially affects single parents like Duduzile’s mom, lesbian, gay and transgender families.

 

It is in these moments that we need to remain vigilant and hold our government accountable, not just at a national level but also monitor South Africa’s newly formed relationships with homophobic states such as Russia, Sierra Leone and Egypt.

 

Let us hold high the memory of Duduzile, and renew our commitment to back conserve cultural, religious and traditional norms that inflict hate and violence on women’s bodies, on lesbian bodies, gay, intersex and transgender bodies.

 

duduzile zozo commemoration

Duduzile Zozo, her memory lives on.

duduzile zozo commemoration

Messages of love are written in memory of Duduzile Zozo.
duduzile zozo commemoration

Duduzile’s mom, Thuziwe Zozo speaking at the commemoration. She salutes the young lesbians for being so supportive towards her and her family.

duduzile zozo commemoration

Activists from Daveyton and Katlehong gathered at the site where Duduzile was murdered.
duduzile zozo commemoration

A moment of silence for Duduzile.

thuziwe dozo at duduzile zozo commemoration

A strong mom and a proud advocate that parents must love and accept their LGBTI children.

duduzile zozo commemoration

Messages of support of written in memory of Duduzile.

duduzile zozo commemoration

Messages of support of written in memory of Duduzile.
duduzile zozo commemoration

Thuziwe Zozo with her grandchild talking to the Iranti-org team.

duduzile zozo commemoration

Duduzile’s Mom and Dad and grandchild.
duduzile zozo commemoration

After 15 years, Duduzile’s family live in a shack, they are still waiting for the government to allocate them house.
duduzile zozo commemoration

Friends of the Zozo Family gather to remember the life of Duduzile.

duduzile zozo commemoration sweeto mahlatsi

Sweeto Mahlatsi a member of Tisa Tshireletso in Vosloorus, leading us in song.

duduzile zozo commemoration

LGBTI activists gather at the site where Duduzile Zozo was murdered.
duduzile zozo commemoration

Messages of support of written in memory of Duduzile.

duduzile zozo commemoration

Messages of support of written in memory of Duduzile.
Dikeledi Sibanda and Phindi Malaza

Dikeledi Sibanda and Phindi Malaza from FEW speak out against hate crimes against LGBTI persons

duduzile zozo commemoration

Candles are lit, to celebrate the life of Duduzile Zozo. Senzenina, why are we weeping?
duduzile zozo commemoration

Candles are lit, to celebrate the life of Duduzile Zozo. Senzenina, why are we weeping?
duduzile zozo commemoration

Candles are lit, to celebrate the life of Duduzile Zozo. Senzenina, why are we weeping?

duduzile zozo commemoration

Candles are lit, to celebrate the life of Duduzile Zozo. Senzenina, why are we weeping?

 

Duduzile Zozo: commemoration

A year ago – In memory of Duduzile Zozo

The commemoration will take place at Thintwa Street in Thokoza, next to Zion Christian Church (ZCC), 29 June at 12:00 pm.

 

27 June 2014, Johannesburg

by Kokeletso Legoete, Iranti-org

Duduzile Zozo coffin

Duduzile was laid to rest (13 July 2013). Photo by Gugu Mandla, Iranti-org

 

The 30th June 2014 marks a full year of Duduzile Zozo’s death. Duduzile Zozo’s body was found across her home in Thokoza on the morning of 30 June 2013 in a neighbours’ yard. Dudu was laid to rest on 13 July 2013. Four months later her perpetrator was arrested and detained at the Palm Ridge prison.

Duduzile Zozo parents

Duduzile’s parents during the funeral (13 July 2013). Photo by Gugu Mandla

 

Duduzile’s court case began on 21 October 2013, shortly after Lesley Motleleng’s was arrested. The accused later applied for bail, of which the proposed amount he would have paid was estimated to a R1000. However, he was denied bail, with supporting evidence brought forth by the investigating officer on the case, Captain Mbeka.

 

Duduzile’s trial was set to begin from 26 May 2014 and run until 13 June 2014; the trial was postponed on 26 May. The trial was postponed due to the reason that the magistrate in charge of the case has other ‘important’ cases at the moment. The trial is now set to run from 27 October 2014.

Lesley Lekgoa Motleleng, Duduzile Zozo's murderer

Lesley Lekgoa Motleleng, Duduzile’s murderer, at Palm Ridge court. Photo by Tumi Mkhuma

 

IHAWU; an LGBTI community-based organization based in Katlehong, in the east of Johannesburg. On 29 June IHAWU will host a memorial service in remembrance of Duduzile Zozo in partnership with Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), Iranti-org and other LGBTI organizations. The commemoration will take place at Thintwa Street in Thokoza, next to Zion Christian Church (ZCC), at 12:00 pm.

 

Duduzile’s trial will recommence on 27 October 2014. It is sad how this case has been delayed, with multiple postponements. It is, however, incredible to find her mother patient enough for the law to take its course. “These things take time, we should be patient. I only pray that justice be served,” said Thuziwe Zozo, Duduzile's mother. May justice be served for Duduzile.

 

Hate Crime: Duduzile Zozo

Duduzile Zozo: Court Proceedings finally begin


11 March 2014, South Africa

by Kokeletso Legoete

 

Lesley Motleleng being guided to sign forms for his trial. Photo by: Kokeletso Legoete

Lesley Motleleng being guided to sign forms for his trial.

Photo by Kokeletso Legoete

 

Duduzile Zozo’s murder case made its first appearance in court on 21 October 2013. Zozo’s mother suspected Lesley Motleleng, the police followed her lead and he was arrested. Motleleng later applied for bail. His bail application was denied on the 26 January, supported by evidence brought forth by Captain Johannes Mbeka, the investigating officer.

 

According to Captain Mbeka's testimony, it appears that Zozo's body was violated before her death. "The postmortem proves that a foreign object was forced into Zozo’s vagina before she died," said Captain Mbeka.

 

Captain Mbeka presented his evidence and provided reasons why Motleleng should not be granted bail. “The accused lied when he was asked whether he had committed any kind of crimes before. The fact is, he has been arrested in the past for housebreaking and theft. Secondly, Motleleng has been suicidal ever since his arrest, his uncles and friends stated under written oath. Therefore, granting him bail may lead to him killing himself.”

 

The investigating officer further explained that Motleleng’s release will not only be putting him at risk of the community killing him out of anger, but also will endanger the lives of the family he where he lives. Captain Mbeka concluded by saying that "If Motleleng is released on bail, it would not be in the interest of justice."

 

LGBTI activist gathered at  Palm  Ridge Court, singing songs of struggle. Photo by Kokeletso Legoete

LGBTI activists gathered at Palm Ridge Court, singing songs of struggle.

Photo by Kokeletso Legoete

 

LGBTI activists from different sections of Katlehong and Thokoza, in the east of Johannesburg have been gathering at Palm Ridge Court in solidarity with Zozo's family. They were saddened and angered by a proposed bail of R1000. He was, however, denied bail.

 

Lesley Motleleng has been detained at the Palm Ridge Prison ever since his arrest and will now be moved to Johannesburg prison where his lawyer can visit him and get his statements. The trial will be run from 26 May to 13 June 2014.

 

Hate Crime: Duduzile Zozo

 

Silence as hate crimes escalate in South Africa

 

South Africa, 7 July 2013

By Jabu Pereira

 

I write to you, because I know you are action-orientated and because I believe that it is only in our collective actions that we can tackle problems and challenges.

 

Over the past years we have witnessed an escalation of gender-motivated killings in South Africa and in other parts of the world. Over the past year Iranti-org has been documenting and reporting on murders of Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming persons. A fact file about the corrective rape murders in South Africa. In each murder we learned that Gender and Sexual Orientation are the key factors driving the murders, rapes, and deep aggravation of the violence committed on these vulnerable persons.

 

We call on you because we know you have the power to influence and to effect change in whichever way you know best.

 

Our most recent 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.

 

The only statement from the government came from its Communications Department stating that is was saddened by the news. The SA Police have made no arrests and lack any knowledge of how to understand gender-motivated murder. They referred to LGBTI persons saying, 'What, what, we don't understand that thing of LG.."

 

We have uncovered other cases and are documenting a transwoman who was raped by seven men and the police laughed when she and her mother reported the case. Today she is still being threatened by the perpetrators. In 2011, Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) reported on the Nokuthula Radebe case. Radebe was 20 years old, a lesbian and murdered. Her pants were pulled down, her faced covered with plastic and strangled with one of her shoelaces. The perpetrators have not been arrested.

 

Iranti-org, along with Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), IHawu LeSizwe Crime Prevention and Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee (EPOC), are pooling our efforts to assist in this crisis but we cannot do it alone. Below is a media file we prepared to give context to the situation.

 

 

In your respective spaces, please act, write to your governments, write to your media, join us, support Zozo's family and support the organisations in working to sustain our advocacy and documentation on these cases.

 

We can make a difference, we can change this situation around even when our states fail us.

 

 

Hate Crime Fact file

There is a fact file about corrective rape murders in Africa. In each murder we learned that Gender and Sexual Orientation are the key factors driving the murders, rapes, and deep aggravation of the violence committed on these vulnerable persons.

 

AUThOR: Jabu Pereira

Founder and Director of Iranti-org, Jabu Pereira is a photographer, videographer, curator, researcher, activist and leader in human rights.

 

 

PODCAST

The minister of women affairs and the clash with civil society ~ Duduzile Zozo

 

25 September 2013

South Africa, Johannesburg.

Selogadi Mampane's podcast - The Minister of Women Affairs and the clash with civil society

About the podcaster

 

Selogadi Mampane describes herself as an activist who utilises inter-disciplinary arts mediums to explore social issues.

Audrey Mbugua

 

PODCAST

Contextual issues to attacks on lesbians on the East Rand of Johannesburg ~ Duduzile Zozo

 

25 September 2013

South Africa, Johannesburg.

Selogadi Mampane's podcast - The Minister of Women Affairs and the clash with civil society

About the podcaster

 

Kelebogile Ntladi works in the realm of fine art, social documentary and portrait photography.

Audrey Mbugua

 

 

 
 
 

 

 
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