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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

MEDIA STATEMENT: SAHRC Strongly Condemns the Brutal Murder of Gay Rights Activist

19 February 2020

ATT: Editors and Reporters

The South African Human Rights Commission (the SAHRC or the Commission) is deeply disturbed by and condemns the brutal murder of 23 year old, gay rights activist and musician, Lindokuhle Cele. Cele was stabbed twenty one times in full view of the public at an uMlazi butchery, in KwaZulu-Natal, on the 6th February 2020.
Cele’s murder is understood to be motivated by homophobia, with concerns raised about rampant homophobia within the community.

This brutal and senseless murder, thrusts into the spotlight, the impact of hate speech and hate crimes directed against vulnerable groups such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Persons as well as Gender Non-conforming Persons (LGBTI and GNC Persons). The SAHRC warns society to end the onslaught of hate speech, homophobia and other forms of unfair discrimination being directed toward LGBTI and GNC persons. Beyond violating the human rights of such vulnerable groups, such forms of unfair discrimination inevitably translate to violent hate crimes, which includes murder.

The Commission calls on members of the community, who witnessed the brutal killing of Cele, to testify in the criminal proceedings against the accused. Further, the Commission calls on government, communities, community leaders, faith based organisations, civil society organisations, business and all other sectors of society to accept LGBTI and GNC persons and to respect their right to equality, dignity and freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and other laws.

The Commission will reach out to the aggrieved Cele family and in turn provide any appropriate assistance and support.

Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission

Alucia Sekgathume –  Tel: 082 689 2364 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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About us

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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