NMB Horrified as Lesbian Woman Nelly Xeke Murdered in Motherwell


Nelly Xeke was murdered on her 28th birthday, allegedly while trying to help a victim of gender-based violence

The LGBTIQ+ community in Nelson Mandela Bay is reeling from the brutal murder of Neliseka “Nelly” Xeke, a beloved lesbian woman, who was killed in Motherwell, a township in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

Nelly, who had just turned 28 on the day of the incident, was found with mutilating wounds near a tavern close to her home in Motherwell, NU 29, on the morning of 17 June 2024. It is believed she was murdered on the night of her birthday, 16 June.

Nelly’s tragic death has left her family and community in shock. “Nelly was a very humble and very respectful human being, so this has really shocked the entire LGBTQIA+ community in NMB that knew her. We really want to see justice being done on this matter,” said Ayanda Mgwadleka, Site Coordinator at OUT LGBT Well-being’s Engage Men’s Health project in the metro.

Nelly was well-known and accepted in her community. She was a key figure in the Engage Men’s Health initiative, contributing as a Seed, an essential role in expanding HIV services to the MSM (men who have sex with men) community. Her untimely death has left a profound void, especially for her mother and her partner, who now grieve her loss.

The appalling details of the incident indicate that Nelly was attempting to intervene in a domestic dispute. She tried to stop the alleged perpetrator, who was allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, and in a horrific turn of events, the man allegedly attacked Nelly with a spade.

The suspect handed himself over to the police on 19 June 2024 and appeared briefly in court on 20 June. He has been remanded in custody and will appear again next Friday.

In memory of Nelly and to honour her life, a candlelight service and memorial service are planned for 24 June 2024 at Ncuthu’s Tavern in Motherwell at 16:00. The community is invited to come together to mourn her loss and to stand in solidarity against such acts of violence.

As the family continues to seek answers, the LGBTIQ+ community in Nelson Mandela Bay is calling for justice and accountability. Nelly’s death is a stark reminder of the anti-queer and gender-based violence that many in the community still face and the urgent need for stronger protections and support.

MambaOnline extends its deepest condolences to Nelly’s family, friends, and all who knew her. We stand with you in demanding justice for Nelly and in fighting for a world where everyone can live freely and safely.

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