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Lesbian murders on the rise in South Africa's black townships

Marriage equality may exist in South Africa, but it doesn’t mean you’re not taking your life into your hands if someone knows you are gay.

Black townships are rife with violence against women generally, but there is a special ire toward lesbians, according to activists there. Two women, one a gay activist, were brutally murdered after being tortured.  No arrests have been made.(365gay):

Sizakele Sigasa, 30, an outreach coordinator at the Positive Women’s Network and a lesbian and gay rights activist, and her friend Salome Masooa, 23, were tortured and murdered in Soweto. Sigasa was found with her hands tied with her underpants and her ankles tied with her shoelaces, with three bullet holes in her head and three in her collarbone.

Masooa also had been shot to death. Police said both women had their jeans pulled down but refuse to say if the women had been raped.

…”This appears to have been a hate crime, committed by people who are intolerant of women and lesbians,” the Treatment Action Campaign said Thursday in a statement.

“The high level of violence against women in South Africa is caused by a complex set of intertwined factors. Some of these such as poverty, unemployment and cultural attitudes that promote machismo will take generations to resolve,” the organization said.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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