Homophobia in South Africa

According to an article from the BBC, several lesbians in South Africa have been murdered recently and, most likely, raped. Despite the incredibly progressive nature of South Africa's constitution (it guarantes rights for gays and lesbians), many people persecute homosexuals.

The Human Rights Watch

detailed the cases of recent lesbian killings.

Last month, two lesbians in Soweto were attacked and shot dead, their bodies were found in a field.

Later in the month, the body of a naked lesbian in Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal was discovered in a field with multiple head wounds.

According to HRW, the police have refused to speculate on whether the victims' sexual orientation was a motive for their murders.

In an earlier case in March, a lesbian in a township near Cape Town was attacked and killed by a mob.

HRW says a friend walking with the woman said their attackers called them "tomboys" who "wanted to be raped".

Correspondents say despite laws that are favourable towards lesbians and gay men, discrimination remains common and black lesbians endure the worst abuse.

It's not clear to me why the police won't speculate on the motives for these crimes, but the Cape Town incident certainly suggests that sexual orientation is most definitely part of the motive.

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