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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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OPINION

Donald Trump Jr. Bombs at CPAC – and Gets Scorched for Lying That ‘Radical’ Dems Have ‘Banned the Muppets’ From TV

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If Donald Trump, Jr. was hoping to get support for a political run he did not receive it at Friday’s Conservative Political Action Conference. The son of the former president was the last speaker of the day, but had to address a room with more empty chairs than he probably expected. There was no attempt to be “socially distant” at CPAC, and it was definitely not “standing room only.”

The conservative crowd did not seem terribly impressed or thrilled with Trump Jr.’s remarks. At one point, when he compared CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter (who he called Brian Slettler) to “Mr. Potato Head,” claiming that everyone makes that comparison (almost no one makes that comparison, except for this guy and a Fox News host), he got enough pushback that he had to try to defend his ugly attack.

Jr. also tried to pull off jokes like, “Liz Cheney is less popular than her father is at a quail hunt,” referring to the former vice president accidentally shooting an acquaintance in the face – in 2006, 15 years ago. There likely were attendees in the room who literally were too young to know what he was talking about. When some groaned he declared, “fact check: true.”

Trump Jr.’s speech was his usual mix of lies, half-truths, and self-victimization, accentuated with a big lie about something incredibly irrelevant: “The Muppets” (no offense meant to any Muppets.)

“This month, this month alone, they’ve banned The Muppets,” Trump Jr. lied, blaming “the radical left” for the cancellation that did not happen.

“Right. I mean, if there’s things that you thought were sort of above cancellation, you would be wrong. There is nothing, the radical left won’t cancel. ”

He was probably referring to Disney +, where almost every Muppet episode can now be seen. Entertainment Weekly reports that two episodes are missing, one because Disney could not secure the rights to the music in an episode, and one because the guest star of that episode is now a convicted sex offender and was “found guilty of possessing child pornography.”

BBC News adds that Disney has added a content warning to the beginning of some episodes over “negative stereotypes.”

That’s not cancelling The Muppets, although Trump’s father has made clear he doesn’t like warning labels on his content either.

Watch:

A few responses:

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THIS IS TODAY'S GOP

MAGA Crowd at CPAC Rewards Josh Hawley With a Standing Ovation for Voting to Overturn a Free and Fair Election

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Conservatives continue to reward Republicans who fought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) was one of the most prominent proponents of the “Big Lie” that Donald Trump actually won the presidential election. Hawley refused to accept the outcome of the election even after the Electoral College voted to confirm Joe Biden’s victory in December.

Hawley continued his efforts to overturn the election even after the fatal January. 6th insurrection by supporters of Trump who believed Hawley’s misinformation.

While the senator has been harshly criticized in Missouri, he was cheered on Friday when he bragged about siding with the insurrectionists while speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando.

Many in the crowed even gave him a standing ovation.

Watch:

 

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LIES AND THE LYING LIARS THAT TELL THEM

GOP Lawmakers Lie to Skip House Votes – So They Can Attend Conservative Conference in Orlando

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Four of the Republican Party’s most extreme House lawmakers have submitted signed letters claiming they must vote by proxy due to the ongoing health crisis, the coronavirus pandemic. But as CNN’s Manu Raju reports, all four are in sunny Florida attending or even speaking at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“Several Republicans in the House have skipped Friday’s votes and enlisted their colleagues to vote on their behalf, signing letters saying they couldn’t attend ‘due to the ongoing public health emergency.’ But those members are scheduled to be at CPAC,” Raju reports.

“The members include Rep. Matt Gaetz,” Raju adds, “as well as some of Trump’s staunchest defenders who are listed as speakers, like Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Ted Budd of North Carolina.”

Here’s Rep. Matt Gaetz on Thursday at CPAC, apparently unconcerned about the coronavirus as he walks maskless in the halls laughing with supporters:

Republicans were initially vehemently opposed to voting by proxy when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi approved it. But now they are abusing the procedure, and apparently lying to invoke it.

 

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