Unprofessional Foul


May 9, 2008

South Africa has problems beyond what you know already

A top South African female footballer was attacked, stabbed, gang-raped and killed two weeks ago in her hometown of Kwatema. While there is a good possibility that this was a random attack, many locals and activists are convinced that she was targeted. Why? Because she was a known lesbian.

Details (I cannot promise they will not be stomach-churning) after the jump.

Eudy Simelane was 31 years old, and a couple of years removed from her time on the national squad of South Africa. She was returning from a night out with friends when set upon by at least 5 teenagers. After the rape and murder, her body was left out in the open air. Five men have been arrested and charged with the crime.

On the surface, this may appear to be a random attack. It is difficult to hear about South Africa in the news without being told of its crushing poverty, the tensions that brings and high crime rate. So why are so many people convinced this was a focused attack on a lesbian? Well, it seems that one of the arrested was Miss Simelane’s neighbor. Couple this with the information that lesbians in the area where Miss Simelane lived may have to endure “corrective rape“, and the probability that her rape, at least, was not random goes up immeasurably.

“Corrective rape”, as you may have guessed, is when a man rapes a lesbian believing that the experience will cause her to “be cured”. In a country that has an HIV prevalence rate of 21.5%, such beliefs are deadly. Scarily, the rate of this disgusting and deadly crime is on the increase.

A quick search on the deceased turns up a host of sites that are following the news of her death closely. Many of these sites point to a movement, Campaign 07/07/07, dedicated to bringing notice to the world of the natures of the crimes against lesbians in South Africa. If this is something you can support, I urge you to look here. It’s not the prettiest website, but it will give you the information you need.

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