Connect with us

23-Year Old Beheaded In Anti-Gay Hate Crime Murder In South Africa

Published

on

A 23-year old transgender and gay man was beheaded in his home town of Kuruman, South Africa Friday, in an anti-gay hate crime. Thapelo Makutle, who was crowned Miss Gay Kuruman, was murdered by two men who remain at large. Reports state that police, for reasons of language and training, are not classifying the murder as a hate crime, and do not understand the significance of the attack. On report states the police reject that Makutle was beheaded, but acknowledge his throat was slashed.

Mamba Online reports:

According to the group Legbo Northern Cape, Thapelo Makutle was attacked at his place of work in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district on Friday. The organisation said that there was an argument related to “his sexuality and homosexuality”.

His two attackers are believed to have followed him to the room where he lived and on Saturday cut his throat, decapitating him.

They left his body under a blanket as though he were sleeping.

Makutle, who identified as both gay and transgender, was a volunteer for Legbo Northern Cape. He recently participated in the Kimberley Out In Africa Gay and Lesbian Festival, was known as a beauty queen named Queen Bling and was recently crowned Miss Gay Kuruman.

“It’s so sad. I can’t describe the pain that we are feeling right now,” Shaine Griqua, director of Legbo Northern Cape, told Mambaonline. “We have lost a young, talented, gay man who was open about who he was. The last few days have been like a dark cloud.”

He said that no arrests have yet been made in connection with the murder. He expressed his frustration with the lack of support for LGBT people in the Northern Cape and noted that hate crimes are on the rise in the province.

“We recently had a lesbian stabbed three times in a bar because they said that she should be a woman and not a man. She chose not to press charges because she didn’t want her family involved,” Griqua said.

“The government is not interested in this problem,” he added.

A later report form Mamba Online states:

According to the Mothibistad police, Thapelo Makutle’s body was found lying on the floor of his rented room. It is alleged that the victim has been out with his friends that night. He left unannounced and his friends assumed that he had gone home to sleep.

Shaine Griqua, Director of Legbo Northern Cape, who first reported the attack, said that confusion around the state of the body likely stems from miscommunication due to most people in the area not speaking English as a first language.

Griqua believes that the attack was a hate crime and said that he has information that Makutle was killed as a result of an argument about his sexuality and gender appearance, but police have yet to confirm this, saying that the motive is as yet unknown.

He told Mambaonline that the police in the area are ill-equipped to deal appropriately with a hate crime.

“These people [the police] are not reliable. They don’t even know what a hate crime is. If you ask them if it was related to his sexuality they will say ‘no’ because they don’t understand the context,” Griqua insisted.

Global Post adds:

In a statement, Cosatu’s Northern Cape secretary Anele Gxoyiya condemned “this brutal attack on a young, brilliant and educated soul whose head was chopped off in a hate crime.”

While South Africa is one of the few countries in the world to extend equal rights to homosexuals, and the only nation in Africa to allow same-sex marriage, the reality of life in townships and rural areas for gays and lesbians has been one of often brutal violence.

In a high-profile incident last year, Noxolo Nogwaza, a lesbian activist based in KwaThema township near Johannesburg, was gang-raped and then stabbed and stoned to death, in what the New York-based group Human Rights Watch described as part of an “epidemic” of hate crimes against gays and lesbians in South Africa.

Politics Web published a statement in response to the murder, by Lindiwe Mazibuko MP, Democratic Alliance Parliamentary Leader:

This violent and gruesome assault is yet another reminder that many of our country’s people are still denied the basic rights and freedoms which our Constitution enshrines.

There is a spate of homophobic hate crimes which have recently taken place across our country, including the repugnant and unconscionable crime of so-called “corrective rape” committed against lesbian South African women.

At this time, South Africa needs strong leadership from President Jacob Zuma, and an indication of his commitment to ensuring that all South Africans are able to live their lives free from fear of discrimination or violence.

Unfortunately, the silence from the Presidency has been deafening. This silence is made worse by the fact that President Zuma has in the past shown himself to be prejudiced towards homosexuals.

Last year, the DA welcomed the establishment of a government-led Joint Task Team on a “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Intervention Strategy”, established in September 2011, under the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Unfortunately, this task team has yet to make any report on its work.

Meanwhile, the spate of crimes continues.

President Zuma must speak out against this weekend’s horrific murder, and the many others like it, which are in danger of becoming all too commonplace in our country today.

I will today be calling for a debate in Parliament about the prevalence of these crimes in South Africa, and calling on MPs to discuss what can be done by the government to address this ongoing problem.

In addition, I will also be writing to the President to ask what immediate steps his government will be taking to address the violence and intimidation that homosexual South Africans must face on a daily basis.

Such crimes, and the President’s silence on them, cannot be allowed to continue.

Hat-tip: Towleroad

 

The New Civil Rights Movement is always looking to deliver you the most important and relevant news, information, and opinion. Won’t you take a minute to answer our quick seven-question survey so we can serve you better? Click here!

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

Pence’s $10 Million Spending Spree Will Help Trump Campaign on Tax Cuts for the Rich

Published

on

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is not endorsing Donald Trump, is spending $10 million in an effort to preserve the Trump tax cuts that largely benefitted ultra-wealthy millionaires and billionaires, which will help his ex-boss’s re-election efforts.

Advancing American Freedom, Pence’s political advocacy group, “is launching a $10 million campaign to push for an extension of the Trump-era tax cuts, which are set to expire next year and will likely play a key role in the 2024 election,” according to The Hill.

President Joe Biden has said he wants to eliminate Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for those making over $400,000, NBC News reports The tax cuts have added $1 to $2 trillion dollars to the national debt.

“A CBO report in May estimated that extending the provisions of Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would increase deficits by nearly $5 trillion into 2034,” the Associated Press reports, adding that Pence’s group is “press[ing] conservatives not to stray from the fight before the November election.”

READ MORE: How SCOTUS ‘Let Trump Off the Hook’ and ‘Interfered in the 2024 Elections’: Expert

Pence’s group also “released a 13-page blueprint Thursday with arguments being made to Capitol Hill and to voters in swing states, particularly in those that could decide control of the Senate.”

“As of May 2020, the Tax Policy Center estimated the tax cuts would add between $1 and $2 trillion to the federal debt by 2025. The Center for American Progress estimated the bill will have cost roughly $1.7 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2023 on June 30,” according to a 2023 USA Today fact check on the Trump tax cuts.

“The benefits of the 2017 tax changes were overwhelmingly skewed toward the wealthy,” the Center for American Progress reported in April. It provided “the largest tax cuts to the very wealthy,” which “failed to trickle down to ordinary workers.”

“The most significant piece of legislation former President Donald Trump signed during his first term had a dramatic cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent as its centerpiece,” Center for American Progress Action reported last week in “Trump’s $50 Billion Tax Giveaway to the 100 Largest Corporations.”

“That corporate tax cut did not trickle down to ordinary workers but cost $1.3 trillion and helped fuel a record $1 trillion in stock buybacks the year after it passed.”

READ MORE: ‘I Can’t Wait to Be Sued’ Gov. Brags Over Ten Commandments Bill – Rights Groups Vow To Oblige
 

Continue Reading

News

How SCOTUS ‘Let Trump Off the Hook’ and ‘Interfered in the 2024 Elections’: Expert

Published

on

The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to hand down its decision on Donald Trump’s claim of absolute immunity for his “official” acts as President, despite first being asked to do so by Special Counsel Jack Smith 192 days ago. But one expert says, in a way, they already have.

Many court watchers expected the Court to rule on the question of Trump’s claim to immunity from prosecution Thursday morning, but none came.

“Don’t hold your breath waiting for the presidential immunity decision. If you’re wondering whether the MAGA majority on the Court will let Trump off the hook, they already have. By doing so, they have already interfered in the 2024 elections,” charges Michael Podhorzer, former political director of the AFL-CIO, and the political strategist deemed the “architect” of the secret bipartisan shadow campaign that saved the 2020 election, according to TIME magazine.

The Supreme Court has “forced a historic crisis—an irreconcilable showdown between the normal operation of the criminal justice system (which should find Trump in pretrial and trial proceedings for his January 6th crimes over the next five months) and the normal functioning of presidential elections (which should find him campaigning full-time during those months),” Podhorzer wrote on social media Wednesday. “It didn’t have to be this way; it’s a crisis entirely of their own manufacturing.”

READ MORE: ‘I Can’t Wait to Be Sued’ Gov. Brags Over Ten Commandments Bill – Rights Groups Vow To Oblige

Podhorzer was behind something of a “conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes,” a bipartisan effort to tamp down protests or violence when Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, that included “an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans… that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs,” TIME reported just weeks after Joe Biden was sworn into office.

“The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.”

Podhorzer now alleges there has been a “hijacking” by “MAGA judges,” in a social media thread called “powerful” by former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean.

“Imagine you were told that in another country, a president who had been defeated in a free and fair election attempted a coup, for which he was indicted—but four years later, the very judges he had appointed have helped protect him from standing trial so he could return to office” he posits.

READ MORE: ‘Fact Checking His Delusions’: Trump’s Falsehoods May Not Be Lies Anymore, Critics Warn

“Whether it’s in Orban’s Hungary, Erdogan’s Turkey, Putin’s Russia, or now the United States, authoritarian movements consistently attempt to amass and consolidate power by hijacking courts to provide them with post-hoc impunity. In the US’s case, the hijacking we now confront by the MAGA judges is the result of decades of hollowing out judicial independence by the Federalist Society and its revanchist backers.”

And it started, Podhorzer says, with Bush v. Gore, the 2000 Supreme Court decision that placed George W. Bush in the White House.

“Since Bush v. Gore, the GOP-appointed justices have consistently acted to benefit Republicans electorally.”

In his social media thread Podhorzer does not mention that three right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court today were part of the Bush legal team’s effort at the Supreme Court nearly a quarter-century ago: Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

The rest of Podhorzer’s thread recounts at least half-a-dozen instances when right wing justices have worked to help Republicans.

“Let’s be clear,” he concludes. ” All six GOP-appointed SCOTUS justices, and Judge Aileen Cannon, have current or former associations with the Federalist Society. None of them can be impartial about cases involving Trump, because his defeat will also mean the defeat of their hard-fought ideological legacy.”

READ MORE: Republican Who Declared His State a ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuary’ Blocks Senate Bump Stock Ban

Image via Shutterstock

Continue Reading

News

‘I Can’t Wait to Be Sued’ Gov. Brags Over Ten Commandments Bill – Rights Groups Vow To Oblige

Published

on

A bill claiming the Bible’s Ten Commandments are “foundational documents of our state and national government” was signed into law Wednesday by Louisiana Republican Governor Jeff Landry. The new law requires a poster of the Ten Commandments, in a “large, easily readable font,” be displayed in all public school classrooms, from kindergarten through college.

“I can’t wait to be sued,” Gov. Landry bragged on Saturday at a GOP fundraising event in Tennessee after announcing he would sign the bill into law. Critics say it is unconstitutional.

A vice president for the civil rights group Americans United for Separation of Church and State is vowing to oblige Governor Landry.

“The 10 Commandment[s] recognize slavery twice in the text. On Juneteenth, LA Gov. Landry signed a law forcing every LA public school to display the 10 Commandments. AU [American United] is gonna sue! That’s right @americansunited, @FFRF, & @ACLU will see Gov. Landry in court,” AU’s Andrew Seidel said on social media, invoking the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Louisiana is the first state in the nation to require the bible’s laws to be posted.

READ MORE: ‘Fact Checking His Delusions’: Trump’s Falsehoods May Not Be Lies Anymore, Critics Warn

“Proponents say the purpose of the measure is not solely religious, but that it has historical significance,” the Associated Press reports. “The displays, which will be paired with a four-paragraph ‘context statement’ describing how the Ten Commandments ‘were a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries,’ must be in place in classrooms by the start of 2025.”

As the Louisiana Attorney General, Landry signed onto a letter opposing Critical Race Theory.

“More than two dozen Republican attorneys general are voicing their disapproval over the Department of Education’s proposed priorities for teaching K-12 students about American history and civics education because they would include references to systemic racism and how the history of slavery has shaped the U.S.” the Louisiana Illuminator reported in 2021.

“The state attorneys general argue in a May 19 letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona that public schools should not be given grant funds to teach about critical race theory, ‘including any projects that characterize the United States as irredeemably racist or founded on principles of racism (as opposed to principles of equality) or that purport to ascribe character traits, values, privileges, status, or beliefs, or that assign fault, blame, or bias, to a particular race or to an individual because of his or her race.’ ”

READ MORE: Republican Who Declared His State a ‘2nd Amendment Sanctuary’ Blocks Senate Bump Stock Ban

Last year Republicans in the Texas Senate passed similar legislation to the bill Gov. laundry signed, leading the Texas Lt. Governor to brag prayer was returning to public schools. The House did not vote on the bill during the session, and it failed.

Louisiana newspaper The Advocate reports, “State Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, sponsored the legislation. She argued the law is constitutional, pointing to a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a public school football coach’s right to pray on the field.”

Critics have said that decision is flawed and based on false claims.

“She added that her bill is not meant to indoctrinate children, but to give them ‘guidelines,’ ” The Advocate added.

“’It doesn’t preach a certain religion, but it does teach a standard,’ she said, adding that the Ten Commandments offer a moral code that God ‘holds us accountable to live by.’

Mississippi Free Press news editor Ashton Pittman, responding to a report on Louisiana’s new Ten Commandments law remarked, “Christian nationalist theocrats doing what they do when they have power. No respect for people of other faiths.”

RELATED: ‘We Must Restore a Biblical Standard’: Mom Tells TX Lawmakers Why She Supports Mandating Ten Commandments in All Classrooms

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.