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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Trump Loses Case Against Omarosa
The case was decided in arbitration, with the arbitrator declaring that it was “certainly unreasonable” for Omarosa “to never say anything remotely critical of Mr. Trump, his family or his or his family members’ businesses for the rest of her life,” The New York Times reports.
“Donald has used this type of vexatious litigation to intimidate, harass and bully for years,” Manigault Newman said in a statement. “Finally the bully has met his match!”
In 2018 Trump had sued Manigault Newman, who frequently uses the mononymous “Omarosa,” for what he claimed were violations of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) she had signed after the publication of her book, “Unhinged” about President Trump. That NDA was signed in 2016 while she was with his presidential campaign.
The Times adds that Omarosa’s book “paints a picture of an out-of-control president who is in a state of mental decline and is prone to racist and misogynistic behavior. Ms. Manigault Newman’s book also casts the former president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in a negative light. When Trump advisers tried to cast doubt on Ms. Manigault Newman’s accounts, she released audio recordings that backed up several of her claims.”
Omarosa released four of what she claimed were about 200 tapes she had secretly recorded of Trump and others in his administration. One of those released was recorded in the White House’s Situation Room, which is believed to have been “one of the worst White House security breaches ever.”
Trump reportedly had wanted his then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to arrest Manigault Newman over the book.
‘Thought They Were the Royal Family’: New Book Reveals How Jared and Ivanka Tried to Force Themselves on Queen Elizabeth II
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump tried to push their way into meeting Queen Elizabeth II during a presidential visit, according to a new book.
An excerpt of the forthcoming book, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” by Melania Trump’s former chief of staff and former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham reveals that Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law wanted to join the royal meeting, in a serious breach of protocol, but were shut out when they wouldn’t fit into the helicopter, reported the Washington Post.
“I finally figured out what was going on,” Grisham writes. “Jared and Ivanka thought they were the royal family of the United States.”
Grisham’s book is especially harsh to Kushner and his wife, who each held senior White House positions despite a lack of government experience, and reveals Ivanka Trump frequently invoked “my father” during staff meetings and calls Kushner “the Slim Reaper” because he often inserted himself in other people’s projects and left them to take the blame after making a mess.
“I had shared with Mrs. Trump many times my opinion that if we lost reelection in 2020 it would be because of Jared,” Grisham writes. “She didn’t disagree with me.”
Kushner was the twice-impeached one-term president’s “real chief of staff” by the end of the administration and took a leading role in the coronavirus pandemic response, such as dictating much of Trump’s widely criticized first televised address on the pandemic that sent markets reeling and plunged air travel into chaos.
‘No Doubt’ Trump and His Allies Were Staging a ‘Seditious Conspiracy’: Former Harvard Law Professor
On Monday’s edition of CNN’s “OutFront,” former Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe broke down how the plan concocted by far-right lawyer John Eastman on behalf of former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election constituted a “seditious conspiracy.”
“I know you call this an attempted coup, not just in the general use of the word that so many have adopted, but in a very specific way. You say Eastman delivered the blueprint,” said anchor Erin Burnett. “Tell me why you now feel so confident that that is exactly the word which describes exactly what it was he was trying to do, and that that was Trump’s intention.”
“Well, there’s no doubt from the information we now have about the meeting that Trump was holding with people like Giuliani and Eastman shortly before the insurrection that we all saw on live television, that they were planning, step by step, to twist arms and pressure people, including building a gallows if necessary with Pence’s name on it, in order to get the vice president to perform a role that the Constitution doesn’t assign the vice president,” said Tribe.
Tribe then went on to cite the specific law that he believes Trump and his allies broke with their actions before and during the Capitol riots.
“It was seditious conspiracy,” he said. “That’s the term that the U.S. Criminal Code uses, 18 U.S. Code section 2384, and then it led to inciting an insurrection. It was all part of a long plan, much more public than most coups that we see.”
Tribe went on to detail how the former president might try to replicate his illegitimate attempt to take power in 2024.
“The back-up plan is to get states to disregard the votes of the people even after the suppression of votes and the counting by people who are partisans if it doesn’t go their way,” he said.
Tribe concluded by warning Americans against complacency, as “we can’t just let that go on while we go over the cliff and destroy our democracy.”
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