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.Â Thapelo Makutle,Â who wasÂ 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 thatÂ 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 didnâ€™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 donâ€™t even know what a hate crime is. If you ask them if it was related to his sexuality they will say â€˜noâ€™ 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 statementÂ in response to the murder, byÂ Lindiwe Mazibuko MP, Democratic AllianceÂ 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.
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Supreme Court Sides with Trump on Weakening Obama-Era Contraceptive Mandate
In a blow to progressives Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) paved the way for the Trump administration to expand exemptions for employers who have religious or moral objections to complying with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate. Currently, the law requires employer-provided health plans to cover the cost of birth control.
The question of whether or not employers who opposed birth control would have to pay for their workers’ contraceptive measures stemmed back to 2010.
The case, Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania (19-431), yielded a 7-2 decision Wednesday.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “It is clear from the face of the statute that the contraceptive mandate is capable of violating [the religious freedom laws].”
Thomas also said, “We hold that the departments had the authority to provide exemptions from the regulatory contraceptive requirements for employers with religious and conscientious objections.”
BREAKING: The Supreme Court ruled the Trump admin can allow employers to deny free birth control coverage to workers on religious and moral grounds — reversing an Obamacare mandate.
The ruling means up to 126,000 women could lose contraception coverage. pic.twitter.com/2wlc9TvANj
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 8, 2020
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
Rachel Maddow Can Hardly Contain Herself Reading Mary Trump’s Tell-All
Over time, Mary Trump discovered that her uncle and aunt had taken all of the money from Fred Trump and siphoned all of his money out of accounts and into trusts.
“My grandfather’s estate had actually been worth close to $1 billion, $1 billion when he died, I just didn’t know it yet,” wrote Mary Trump. “After I was sure [the lawyer] had gone, I grabbed copies of my grandfather’s wills, floppy disks with all the depositions from the lawsuits and some of my grandfather’s bank records, all of which I was legally entitled to as part of the lawsuit.”
See the full detailing of the story in the video below:
Bolsonaro: ‘I Drank Hydroxychloroquine and I’m Feeling Great’
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has reportedly contracted COVID-19 and says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine as a means to recovery. The 65-year-old confirmed the diagnosis to journalists on Tuesday as he arrived to his presidential palace.
After asking reporters to step aside, Bolsonaro removed his face mask. “See, I am fine. See you next week, God willing.”
— AS-Source News (@ASB_Breaking) July 7, 2020
Bolsonaro said he was suffering muscle aches, fatigue and a fever but otherwise felt “normal.” This is a man who, prior to his diagnosis, repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as “just a little flu” and said the media coverage of the pandemic was “hysteria.” He also said, “Life continues. But if the economy doesn’t work it will bring new forms of death and suicide.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 65,000 Brazilians have died from COVID-19 — the second-highest death toll in the world after the United States. An additional 1.6 million people have tested positive for the virus in Brazil. Low levels of testing mean deaths and infections are likely much higher.
With his positive COVID-19 result, Bolsonaro now joins U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. The latter two world leaders were hospitalized during treatment.
– Coletiva no Palácio do Alvorada – 07 JULHO de 2020. https://t.co/FCKPt1yh5l
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) July 7, 2020
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, who repeatedly played down the risks of Covid-19, has tested positive
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 7, 2020
#Bolsonaro: Covid-19 is just a little flu
— kj3ll0l (@Kj3ll0l) July 7, 2020
— #BlackLivesMatter Schaltjahr (@chiquitaflanke) July 7, 2020
#Bolsonaro (finally) acknowledged grave risk posed by a virus he'd dismissed as just a "little flu." "We know the fatality of the virus for those of a certain age, like me, above 65, and for those with comorbidities, diseases, other issues." ARE YOU THINKING WHAT I'M THINKING?
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) July 7, 2020
— TRJFF (@TRJFF) July 7, 2020
— Dwayne Walton (@23dwayne) July 7, 2020
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