Women’s Day dampened by the murder of trans woman in South Africa
South Africans celebrate the 9th of August as National Women’s Day. This day is commemorated as the day on which South African women took to the streets in resistance of the “Dompas Laws” that oppressed women during the apartheid regime in 1956.
Although South African women remain a force to be reckoned with, we are a country plagued by high levels of gender based violence.
The recent attack of a woman in a Johannesburg night club by the South African Deputy Minister of Education sparked controversy in the country and questions the political commitment to violence against women in our country. Like other groups of women, the lesbian, transgender and bisexual women suffer intolerable levels of violence in South Africa. This year saw the murder of Nonkie Smous from the township of Moakeng, and more recently the murder of Sihle, a transgender woman from Duncan Village in East London, among other cases of violations against women on the basis of their sexual orientation/gender identity.
The merciless murder of Sihle, a trans woman from Duncan Village has sparked outrage within the LGBTIQ+ community as it once again reveals how vulnerable trans women are to gender based violence.
Wandy Onceya, a trans woman from East London says: ”Trans women in general continue to be violated across the different spheres of their lives. A trans woman’s gender came under scrutiny recently when judges speculated on her gender on Idols: a reality music show on South African television. It is this speculation and undermining of people’s gender that continue to drive structural, and eventually physical violence”.
It can’t be that on the month we celebrate women this callous murder is still the order of the day for many trans women particularly women living in disadvantaged communities.
On Sunday the 6th of August 2017 Sihle was going home after a night out at a tavern in Duncan Village when a man made sexual advances at her, when she refused his advances, the man became aggressive and attacked her with a knife leading to her death.
The matter has been handed over to the Duncan Village Police Station and the perpetrator whose identity has yet to be revealed will appear before the East London Magistrate Court on the 10th August 2017.
For more information contact:
L. Leigh Ann van der Merwe, S.H.E Coordinator email@example.com
Vuyo Ludidi, S.H.E Media Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org