Accused for murdering lesbian soccer player go to trial

In April it will be one year since the murder of South African lesbian soccer player Eudy Simelane. Initially five men were arrested and four of them are due to stand trial at Delmas Circuit Court in Mpumalanga from 11 to 13 February 2009. The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project is going to be mobilizing at least 120 people to camp outside the courts for the three day trial. It is extremely important to make a public demonstration against hate crimes and to challenge all SA political parties to take a strong position against hate crimes directed at LGBTI people.

BUT they need funds to pay for the camp as well as to develop educationa and visible symbols against hate crimes and specifically around the killing of Eudy Simelane. Right now they have an estimated budget of R200.000. MAGI has donated R25.000 towards this initiative and have put out a call for donations as follows:

We request everyone to consider personally donating for this course. By doing so, you will be joining LGBTI activists and rights organisations in addressing:

i. The backlash faced by LGBTI people in SA, which manifests itself through blatant homophobic sentiments and the killing of mostly black lesbians from the township.

ii. The State’s failure to provide overarching solutions to the endemic problem of violence.

iii. The urgent need of a change of mindsets and transformation to be supported by broader progressive movement.

iv. The possible precedent setting through convicting the men standing trial for robbing, gang-rapping and killing of Eudy Simelane and its impact on the social and political spheres in our country and hopefully internationally; and

v. Mobilising LGBTI people and activists to defend the Constitutional and legislative guarantees, including equality, freedom and dignity in our democratic South Africa.

For more information on how to send donations please contact Phumzile Mtetwa phumi at equality dot org dot za