Finally after five years of postponements 4 men were convicted of the murder of Zoliswa Nkonyana. 3 others were acquitted of the original 9 arrested.
This is the first case in South Africa to recognise sexual orientation and lesbians as a motive for murder and violent crimes. Zoliswa, 19, was murdered on the 4th February 2006 after being chased by a group of men because of being a lesbian. She was beaten, stabbed and strangled. It has taken five years of constant delays which meant two of the witnesses were only able to testify years after the murder. Nonetheless the consistent dedicated campaigning of many activists across the country ensured the case was not forgotten and that it was recognised as a hate crime.
The Magistrate delivered her verdict yesterday in Zoliswa’s case. At the beginning of the case, over 5 years ago, there were 9 men accused of one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. Two of the accused, #3 and #6, were acquitted on all charges in September, and the remaining 7 accused were acquitted of the charges of attempted murder. The Magistrate reviewed the entire case, including the three ‘trials within trials’ regarding the confession of Accused #4, the DNA evidence taken from blood found on Accused #5â€²s tekkies, and the police statements made by other accused. The confession and the DNA, which demonstrated that the blood on the shoes belonged to Zoliswa, were found admissible into evidence. However, the police statements made by the other accused were not. The Magistrate stated that on this point that the statements were not admitted because of the “sloppy manner” in which those statements were taken by police….. Continued at Free Gender