South African Lesbian Murdered on her Birthday

Lucia (R.I.P)
Lucia (R.I.P)

The Love Not Hate campaign, a South African nation-wide multi-partner initiative addressing violence against LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people, recently reported a senseless murder of a young lesbian woman.

Lucia Naido, from Katlehong on Johannesburg’s East Rand, was stabbed to death on the night of her birthday. The teen was killed in a suspected hate crime just meters from her home. She was found by her mother, who ran outside when she heard her daughter’s screams, and died on her way to hospital.

Lucia, who had just turned 19, was studying towards a qualification in fitting and turning at the Wits Technical College. Lucia’s friends last saw her alive walking home late at night followed by two men who had earlier asked her for a cigarette.

The family opened a murder case at the Katlehong SAPS and police took statements from her two friends. They now fear being targeted by the suspects, who have yet to be identified or questioned.

“Lucia was a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her,” commented Lerato Phalakatshela, Hate Crime Manager at OUT LGBT Well-being and spokesperson for the Love Not Hate campaign.

“She deserves justice. The Katlehong SAPS must intensify their search and arrest these criminals,” he said after meeting with the victim’s grieving and traumatised mother. Phalakatshela expressed his frustration that police have not drawn up identikits of the suspects despite having two witnesses. He also believes that the media is often failing to report on LGBTI hate crimes.

“There have been many hate crimes against LGBTI people in South Africa over the years,” Phalakatshela added, “but there have been very few arrests. The system is really failing us.”

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