Lesbian activist, Ncumisa Mzamelo found murdered

Three weeks after Ncumisa Mzamelo was found dead her story was published on page 16 of the South African newspaper, The Star. This is a story of a brutal murder of a Black lesbian from Bhambayi in KwaZula Natal, whose remains were found in a deserted toilet. Ncumisa was a 21 year old activist who worked on an HIV/AIDS project, Project Empower. A police case has been opened but her friends are determined that she not only gets justice but the crime is tried as a hate crime.

Ncumisa, murder needs to be seen in the context of the two recent decisions by human rights instittuions. First the African Commission for People and Human Rights which refused observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians [CAL] and secondly the decision by the UN General Assembly Human Rights Committee who voted to delete specific reference to killings due to sexual orientation from a resolution condemning unjustified executions. The two decisions not only directly prevent justice for LGBTI people like Ncumisa but create an environment where such violent hate crimes can take place with impunity.