We recently received sad news from the Positive Women's Network, a Global Fund grantee in South Africa. Sizakele Sigasa a staff member with the group was murdered earlier this month for advocating the rights of the Gay and Lesbian community in South Africa. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission published this release on the murder:
The South African lesbian and gay communities through the Joint Working Group* and partner organisations STRONGLY CONDEMN the killing of Sizakele Sigasa (34) and Salome Masooa (23) from a township in Johannesburg. They were found (Sunday 8th July) murdered, execution style, in a nearby field in Meadowlands; a shocking image that is not so new in South Africa in the light of the recent increase in violence and rape against women either identified as, suspected of or supporting lesbian and gay rights.
Gays and lesbians are men and women, human beings who deserve equal rights and treatment - not to be ridiculed or called names, beaten, tortured, raped or killed. These gross human rights violations are not just inhuman and barbaric - they must not be tolerated! Sizakele and Salome's killers, like everyone else, HAD NO RIGHT TO THREATEN OR KILL THEM!!
Violence against lesbians and gays is unSouth African. Here, oppression and discrimination have no place, still there are parents who reject or kick children out to the streets; siblings, friends and communities who hurt, beat, rape, torture and even kill lesbians and gays. If they survive all this, they face further victimisation at in the hands of the police and even the courts - THIS IS NOT JUSTICE AT ALL. People who inflict harm upon and even kill lesbians and gays (or anyone else) do not belong in South Africa. Leaders and communities that do not oppose violence against gays, lesbians, women, children, rape survivors and HIV+ people do not belong here.
1) We call on the Meadowlands Police Services to investigate this matter - efficiently and rigorously;
2) We call on other state bodies and communities to support the families by working with the Police and the Prosecuting Authorities towards ensuring that the killers are brought to book.
We express our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and friends. We offer our support to the colleagues and comrades as they mourn the death of these two precious women.