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

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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

 

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Comer Announces Public Hearing After Hunter Biden Closed Door Testimony

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House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer announced he will hold a public hearing with Hunter Biden after the president’s son testified behind closed doors for most of Wednesday.

“I think this was a great deposition for us, it proved several bits of our evidence, that we’ve been conducting throughout this investigation, but there are also some contradictory statements that I think need further review,” Comer told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

“So this impeachment inquiry will now go to the next phase, which will be a public hearing. And that’s something that I think everyone in the media has been asking a lot of questions about. Something that I know that Mr. Biden and his attorney both demanded, just as I said, when we said we were going to do the deposition first, we will have a public hearing next.”

It’s unclear what other witnesses Chairman Comer and Chairman Jordan will present.

Comer claimed that parts of Hunter Biden’s testimony contradicted some of their previous witness’ testimony, although he refused to elaborate.

READ MORE: Court Denies Trump Request to Pause $454M Bond Requirement Amid His Cash Liquidity Claim

Hunter Biden stated in the opening remarks he released publicly Wednesday morning that Chairman Comer and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan had built their “entire partisan house of cards on lies told by the likes of Gal Luft, Tony Bobulinski, Alexander Smirnov, and Jason Galanis.”

“Luft, who is a fugitive, has been indicted for his lies and other crimes; Smirnov, who has made you dupes in carrying out a Russian disinformation campaign waged against my father, has been indicted for his lies; Bobulinski, who has been exposed for the many false statements he has made, and Galanis, who is serving 14 years in prison for fraud.”

Politico described Hunter Biden’s opening statement as “blistering.”

“I am here today,” the President’s son began, “to provide the Committees with the one uncontestable fact that should end the false premise of this inquiry: I did not involve my father in my business. Not while I was a practicing lawyer, not in my investments or transactions domestic or international, not as a board member, and not as an artist. Never.”

Watch Comer below or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Swore Under Oath He Had $400 Million in Cash – Now He’s Telling a Court a Different Story

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Court Denies Trump Request to Pause $454M Bond Requirement Amid His Cash Liquidity Claim

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A New York appeals court has denied Donald Trump’s request to issue a stay on the state Supreme Court’s ruling ordering the ex-president to pay $454 million in the civil business fraud case brought by Attorney General Letitia James. Trump had offered to post a bond of $100 million as he appeals the ruling, as he suggested he did not have sufficient liquid assets – namely, cash – to post the full amount required.

The judge did, however, pause a portion of the ruling barring Trump from operating a business in New York, and also paused the portion of the ruling barring him from obtaining a loan from a bank registered in the State of New York.

“It’s a mixed bag for Trump, and the former president GAINS some ability, in an interim ruling, to continue his business activities and loan-seeking. But the most crucial request, a stay of enforcement of the $450M+ judgment, has been rejected,” reports Just Security’s Adam Klasfeld.

Unless he can obtain a loan or other financing, Trump, as he admitted in his legal filing, may have to sell some of his assets, likely real estate, to come up with enough cash to satisfy the judgment.

The court “also denied Trump’s request to delay his obligation to post $454 million until his appeal of the civil fraud verdict is over,” CNN adds.

RELATED: Trump Swore Under Oath He Had $400 Million in Cash – Now He’s Telling a Court a Different Story

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Trump Swore Under Oath He Had $400 Million in Cash – Now He’s Telling a Court a Different Story

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Attorneys for Donald Trump are arguing the ex-president and self-professed billionaire should not have to post a bond of $454 million as he appeals the New York State Supreme Court’s ruling holding him liable for civil business fraud. Instead, Trump is offering a bond of $100 million.

But as legal experts are pointing out, under oath, Trump stated he had $400 million in liquid assets. And his attorney, Alina Habba, when asked last week if he could come up with $350 million, said on-camera, “Yes, I mean, he does, of course he has money, you know, he’s a billionaire. We know that.”

Former federal and state prosecutor Ron Filipkowski, now the editor-in-chief of MeidasTouch.com, responded to Habba’s remarks, saying: “As we now know, this was also a lie.”

READ MORE: ‘How Extremism Is Normalized’: Schlapp Furious as Critics Slam CPAC Over Report of Nazis

“Trump says he doesn’t have the cash that both he and Habba told everyone he had, and that ‘properties would have to be sold’ to come up with the money,” Filipkowski adds.

He sums up the situation: “Trump under oath in his deposition: I’m worth at least $10 billion, I have over $3 billion in tangible assets, I have $400 million in cash. Trump to appellate court: I can come up with $100 million and I need more time to sell stuff to come up with the rest.”

Indeed, The New York Times reported earlier this month, “Mr. Trump claimed under oath last year that he was sitting on more than $400 million in cash.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James was quick to urge the court to deny Trump’s offer of $100 million, or, as Just Security’s Adam Klasfeld reports, “to deny Trump’s application to pause enforcement of the judgment pending appeal, including the disgorgement, monitoring, and loan prohibition.”

“Defendants all but concede that Mr. Trump has insufficient liquid assets to satisfy the judgment amount; defendants would need ‘to raise capital’ to do so,” James writes, as Klasfeld notes.

READ MORE: ‘Conspiring With Putin’: Democratic Congressman Brings the Hammer Down on Jim Jordan

Klasfeld points to this section of Trump’s motion that reads: “In the absence of a stay on the terms herein outlined, properties would likely need to be sold to raise capital under exigent circumstances, and there would be no way to recover any property sold following a successful appeal and no means to recover the resulting financial losses from the Attorney General.”

In other words, Trump’s attorneys are saying he would have to sell assets, or properties, at less than market value, and should he win his appeal, he would have no means to be compensated for the difference in value.

“Trump has less than 30 days to post the money to prevent the New York attorney general’s office from taking steps to execute the judgment, including potentially move to seize properties,” CNN adds. “It is not yet clear how he plans to cover the payment.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

Image via Shutterstock

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