Activists report that a lesbian woman in the Crossroads informal settlement, near Cape Town, has survived being stabbed by men who taunted her for being lesbian.

According to Luleki Sizwe, an organisation supporting lesbian victims of hate crime, Nxolo Nkosana (23) was walking home with her partner, Sindiswa Mannivel, and a few friends on the evening of May 10th when the attack happened.

Describing the attack as “out of the blue”, Nkosana said that two men, (one of whom she recognised) approached her, yelling “You fucking lesbian, you fucking tomboy”.

The man Nkosana recognised then stabbed her twice in the back with a knife. After she fell to the ground, he stabbed her two more times. “It was very quick and then I lost control,” Nkosana said.

Her girlfriend and friends ran to nearby homes for help while being pursued by the other man, also wielding a knife.

The men ran off once the women were allowed into a house. From there, the group of women were able to arrange transport to hospital for Nkosana.

Nkosana was stabbed three times on the left side of her back and once on her right shoulder, above the shoulder bone. She spent the night in a clinic but was too weak to open a case against the men.

Nkosana said that she is baffled as to why she was attacked, saying: “I know the one guy, but I don’t even talk to him. So I don’t have a sense [as to why they attacked me].”

Nkosana’s aunt called Ndumie Funda of Luleki Sizwe to assist. Funda took the frail woman to the Gugulethu police station to open a case against the men.

The police insisted that to do so they needed a form from the clinic describing her injuries. Unfortunately, when the women went to the clinic the doctors were off duty for the weekend.

With the intervention of volunteers Henry Bantjez and Eugene Brockman (also designers of the Gay flag of South Africa), Warrant Officer Beukes of Gugulethu SAPS agreed to take a formal statement at Nkosana’s home and assist in the opening of a case.

“I want to lay charges against these guys. We should not to be ashamed. We shouldn’t be afraid of the public. It is my right to take steps now. If we don’t takes steps they will continue like this,” said Nkosana.

Luleki Sizwe noted that to-date Nkosana’s attackers have not been arrested nor has an investigating officer been assigned to the case.

“[The fact] that these men are still roaming her neighbourhood freely over the weekend makes her stand even more courageous,” said the organisation. “For the moment, Nxolo is surrounded by her family and her beloved Sindiswa, cheering her up, getting her to smile.”

Luleki Sizwe, which is a key player in the formation of the governments’ pending hate crimes task team, has taken Nkosana’s case to the Department of Justice.

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