On 28th April Eudy Simelane was brutally murdered in yet another in the growing number of attacks – rapes, murder, beatings, targeted against Black lesbians in South Africa including those of Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Moosa, in Johannesburg July 2007, and that of Zoliswa Nkonyane in February 2006 in Cape Town.
Five men have been charged with the murder of Eudy Simelane however the police investigation and trial have been repeatedly delayed
On several occasions at the Springs Magistrate Court many of us sat only to be told that the docket was still with the investigating officer and therefore the hearing could not proceed.
The delays at ensuring that the investigation is thoroughly concluded causes suffering to family, friends and activists. We have been attending more than ten court hearings since Eudy’s murder only to hear that either the defense lawyers use delay tactics or that the SAPS’ investigation is incomplete and lacks merit for trial.
The investigation and prosecution surrounding the murder of Eudy Simelane has gained international and national attention. These delays are not only undermining that justice is served for Eudy, but they also undermine the South African Justice System and the work of the South African Police Services in the eyes of the national and international community.
On the 10th September, members of Eudy’s family including her mother, friends and activists joined together in a march to protest against the continued delays in processing the investigation and case. The route of the march passed through the district of Highlands which is a place many lesbians fear, and the place where Eudy’s body was found. Here Eudy’s mother spoke along with ANC Local Government MP Lindiwe Lasindwa who was one of the first to discover her body.
Photos from the march on 10th September 2008
The five accused are now due to appear at Springs Magistrate Court court on the 7th October.