On 3 May 2021, community activists, queer persons and Access Chapter 2 (AC2) attended the court appearance of Asanele Beda who brutally murdered Nathaniel Mbele at the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate Court (about 70kms south of Johannesburg). Nathalien, who was known as ‘Spokgoane’ was from Tshirela in Vanderbijlpark and was an openly gay man who was found brutally murdered on 2 April 2021. AC2 is an NGO that focuses on the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Queer (LGBTIQ+) community’s access to various human rights.
Steve Letsike, the Director at AC2 and the Deputy Chairperson at South African National Aids Council (SANCA) spoke outside the court after the accused was denied bail. “The accused confirmed in his statement that he will plead guilty of the murder of Nathalien.” Beda was denied bail after the magistrate considered the petition signed by over 50 people, and the fact that he his confession has angered the community. Lentsike also shared that the magistrate was worried that the accused might change his statement during trial.
Beda’s next court appearance took place on 10 May at the Regional Court in the Vaal, where the judge postponed the court case to 11 June 2021 to allow further investigations in order for the trial to commence.
In the past few months this year we have seen the LGBTIQ+ community being targeted in a number of vicious hate crimes and murders. On 24 April 2021 another queer person was found stabbed naked in a field and in Dennilton, Limpopo a young man by the name of Lucky Kleinboy Motshabi. Lucky is the 7th queer person to be found dead in the past two months.
On 20 April 2021 Letsike in an interview referred to these recent killings as “a pandemic of femmicide”. It has been a very sad start to the year for the queer community.
This article was submitted on 4 May 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.