The apparently-homophobic murder of a Joburg drag queen has sparked activists into heightening their campaign against hate crimes.

Behind the Mask reports that the recent murder of Desmond Dube (not to be confused with the well-known actor), otherwise known as Daisy, has shocked members of the LGBT community already reeling from a recent spate of deadly hate crimes.

The attack took place on June 2 on Becker Street in Yeoville, where Daisy and three friends were verbally assaulted by three homophobic men. The situation turned violent after one of the men produced a gun and allegedly shot Dube, who died at the scene.

Dube was buried on June 10 in Tembisa and, to-date, no arrests have been made. Dube’s mother, Nontsikelelo, said that she wished for the “return of a crimeless and peaceful Yeoville.”

In response to the killing, the 07-07-07 End Hate Crimes campaign will host a Community Speak Out event on 2 July at the Yeoville Recreational Centre, encouraging dialogue and discussion on hate crime awareness.

LGBT activists are concerned at the increasing levels of homophobic attacks throughout the country, usually targeting black lesbians, and intend to monitor the police response to Dube’s murder.

The 07-07-07 campaign was founded following the murders of Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Massoa in Soweto in July 2007. A number of other lesbians have also been the victims of high profile hate crime attacks:

In February 2006, Zoliswa Nkonyana was beaten, stoned and stabbed to death by a group of 20 men in Khayelitsha in the Cape. At the end of April this year, Eudy “Styles” Simelane, was assaulted, raped and murdered in the Tornado section of Kwa Thema in the East Rand.

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