By: Ambrose Barigye
Potchefsroom’s North West High Court yesterday sentenced Stofferl Pule Motlhokwane to two life sentences for the murder of Disebo Gift Makau, an openly gay woman.
Makau’s murder shocked South Africa and the world at large after her body was discovered near her home on August 15th 2014; she had been raped, strangled, and had a hose pipe shoved down her throat into her stomach.
Forensics later discovered water in her stomach, indicating the pipe had been used to force it (water) into her belly. Her family was also convinced Makau had been sent to an early grave because she was a lesbian and made no secret of it.
“Justice has been served; Makau never hurt anyone and it was cruel for her to die the way she did,” a family member was quoted as saying after the court verdict had been read.
The LGBTI community world over received the news as a sign of victory for the fight for the rights of sexual minorities. Motlhokwane was also sentenced to 15 years behind bars for robbery.
Hate crimes like lynching and murder are common occurrences especially in highly homophobic countries.