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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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DENIAL IS DANGEROUS

Bolsonaro: ‘I Drank Hydroxychloroquine and I’m Feeling Great’

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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.”

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.

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CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER

Trump Shamefully Withdraws United States from World Health Organization During Pandemic

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In an absolutely shameful move for Americans everywhere (whether they believe it right now or not), the Trump White House has announced its departure from the World Health Organization (WHO). The line was drawn in the proverbial sand on Tuesday, July 7.

“We have detailed the reforms that it [the WHO] must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said.

According to The Hill, the United States contributes upwards of $400 million annually to the WHO — the group’s largest contributor — and public health experts have warned that a suspension of funds would severely damage the organization.

Following Trump’s ill-timed announcement, United States Senator Bob Menendez tweeted, “Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the WHO in the midst of a pandemic. To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests — it leaves Americans sick & America alone.”

“I disagree with the president’s decision,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in a statement. “Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”

“Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need,” Alexander added.. “And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States.”

It’s not the first time Trump has publicly denounced the WHO and it certainly won’t be his last. Trump said this past May that “China’s pattern of misconduct is well-known. For decades, they’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before. Hundreds of billions of dollars per year were lost dealing with China, especially over the years during the prior administration. China raided our factories, off-shored our jobs, gutted our industries, stole our intellectual property and violated their commitments under the World Trade Organization.”

Although Trump has put the plan in motion to extricate America from the WHO, there may still be a long legal battle ahead if Congress challenges the decision in court since Congress already allocated funding for the WHO in its current spending bill.


119 days, America. The world is literally watching.

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BAD PRESIDENT

Mary Trump: President Never Took SATs — and Paid Someone Else to Do It for Him

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The explosive new tell-all book written by President Donald Trump’s niece about their family history alleges that the president only got into a good college because of a fraudulently obtained SAT score.

According to the New York Times, Mary Trump claims in her book that “as a high school student in Queens… Donald Trump paid someone to take a precollegiate test, the SAT, on his behalf.”

Mary Trump also claims that this fraudulent score helped him get into the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton business school, which the president often boasts about having attended.

The upcoming book, titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” paints a frightening portrait of how the president was groomed by his father to be ruthless and unsympathetic toward other people. Even though the Trump family has sued to stop the book’s publication, it is currently slated to release next week.

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