Call for justice

Some of the people who marched to the station.

Family, friends and various advocacy groups marched to the Manenberg police station, accusing police of incompetence and failing to arrest the killers of Thuthukile Mabaso who was raped and murdered last year in September.

Her lifeless body had been found dumped between Thambo Square and Manenberg railway station next to the railway tracks.

Last Friday, the residents marched from Gugulethu to the police station, carrying placards and demanding the officers provide answers about the status of the case.

It is believed that the 28-year-old resident of NY4 in Gugulethu had been raped and killed because she was a lesbian. The march was spearheaded by LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer) advocacy groups Free Gender and the Triangle Project, supported by Sonke Gender Justice.

They and the residents marching with them accused police of being hostile when attending to LGTBTQ people.

Ms Mabaso’s brother, Siphumelele Mabaso, 22, could not contain his emotions about her sister’s death and said he wanted to see justice prevail.

A tearful Mr Mabaso told Vukani that he was still battling to come to terms with his sister’s death and recalled the day that one of his sister’s friends had told him that “the body of a gay person” had been found murdered and advised that he must look after her.

He found his sisters body at the state mortuary in Salt River.

“I’m not okay about how my sister had died. I just don’t know who killed her and what for. Some people were arrested but were quickly released as police claimed that there was not enough evidence.

“I just want to see who killed my sister and for what reasons. My life has never been the same again,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of Free Gender, Funeka Soldaat said it was a harsh reality that police officers were failing to solve cases of hate crimes against, and killings of LGBTIQ people in the townships.

She said if they didn’t raise awareness about cases like this one – and other similar ones – they would “just disappear”.

“We are humans just like other people. We want our rights to be protected. We want police officers to treat us just like any other people. We want the police officers to treat us fair,” she said.

Resident Kenny July said they wanted to see justice prevail and the killers face the wrath of the law.

The memorandum was accepted by Manenberg station commander, Colonel Sanele Zama.

Colonel Zama said he did not want to comment on the matter and declined to respond to Vukani’s questions.