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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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SURE JAN SURE

Trump Swears Dems Are Calling Him Begging to Negotiate on the Stimulus — but He ‘Got Everything He Wanted’ Already

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President Donald Trump side-stepped Congress to pass his own stimulus bailout with a series of executive orders. Now, however, he’s claiming Democrats are desperate to negotiate with him on the coronavirus bill.

Speaking to the press while leaving another vacation weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump said Democrats are “calling him.”

“They’re much more inclined to make a deal now than two days ago,” Trump said.

It’s unclear which Democrats he spoke to, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t indicate she spoke to the president during interviews with the Sunday morning talk shows.

Trump also said that he’s been “personally” involved in negotiating the bill. In reality, it was his chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. So, Trump had to correct himself, saying he was involved “personally, you know, through my representatives.”

Neither Trump nor the White House or the GOP has clarified why negotiation is needed with Democrats if Trump already fixed everything through his slate of executive orders. It seems to fly in the face of Saturday’s press conference and the slew of headlines that followed.

 

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‘Angry’ Trump Michigan Voters Admit They Want ‘This Nightmare to End’ in November

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President Donald Trump’s Michigan supporters are abandoning their 2016 pick for Vice President Joe Biden as the election comes closer.

In a series of interviews on MSNBC Sunday, revisited voters they’d met earlier in the election cycle in Kent County.

Katey Morse and her husband were both working full time, and their kids were in school back in March, but things quickly changed as the coronavirus spread throughout the country. Luckily, she and her husband didn’t lose their jobs, but they, like many parents, are struggling to do virtual school for their kids.

“I’m turning into more of an angry person than I’ve ever been in my life,” she said about how she feels politically, noting that it makes her sad. “I’ve just got a countdown to November now, and I’m hoping we’ll wake up from this nightmare we’re in.”

She later explained that she was attracted to Trump in 2016 because he was a businessman who she thought would make the right decisions. But she’s now watching business leaders make those right decisions and Trump making the wrong ones.

Hal Ostrow once called himself “politically homeless,” but now things have changed for him too.

“I think we’re seeing it on a daily basis — this delegitimizing of pillars of our society, of institutions of government, everything from COVID testing to choices we’ve got to make for our kids. And there is just a void of leadership at the top,” he said.

Ostrow also explained that the “law and order” message from Trump isn’t really effective because the kind of “law and order” Trump wants isn’t resonating with suburban voters.

Morse agreed, saying, “we’re not 1950s housewives anymore. We’re educated, strong women, who are trying to raise families while working full time out of the home. So, to make a statement saying, we’re going to be — to defund the police and we’re going to be overrun in our communities by all these bad people, it’s ludicrous!”

Jerry Stepanovich was a Trump voter who was parroting the language the Trump used about the “witch hunt” against him. Now things have changed.

“Some of his statements, some of the buffoonery,” he said as a reason for his diversion from solid Trump supporters. “Some of his actions and also when he said, ‘we’re going to knock this right down,’ that’s — that ain’t gonna happen.”

When asked what he would have done differently, he said Trump’s “blasé” attitude claiming “yeah, we’ll take care of this,” is what Stepanovich found questionable. “The bravado — that’s kind of irking me right now.”

See the clip below:

 

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CORRUPTION

White House Turmoil as Mnuchin and Navarro Got in ‘Knockdown, Drag-Out’ Yelling Match – as Trump Sat and Watched: Report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, a discussion in the Oval Office over social media platform TikTok collapsed into a shouting match between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade advisor Peter Navarro while Donald Trump sat and watched.

One spectator described it as “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.

The Post reports Mnuchin was under the understanding that he had convinced Trump to allow a sale of TikTok to Microsoft, only to run into a roadblock put up by Navarro arguing for a total ban.

During the discussion, Navarro reportedly accused Mnuchin of being soft on China and the two were described as getting into screaming match with each other in front of the president.

The Post adds the confrontation “was preceded by months of backroom dealings among investors, lobbyists and executives. Many of these stakeholders long understood the critical nature of establishing close connections with key figures in the Trump administration,” before adding, Trump signed an executive order Thursday ordering a shut down of TikTok’s U.S. operations if a divestiture did not occur by September.

You can read more here.

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