WEDNESDAY 18 JANUARY 2022. CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: We, representing the LGTBQI+ civil society and allies in Cape Town, strongly condemn the physical assault and injustice committed against Thabiso Motaung, a 19-year-old transgender woman, in Khayelitsha. What occurred was a hate crime and is a violation of her basic human rights. We call for the perpetrators to be dealt with by the legal system so that justice for Thabiso is served.
On the evening of 8 January 2023, Thabiso “Sis Tee” Motaung was brutally attacked in Site C, Khayelitsha by three young women. Videos of the incident were recorded, and the footage shows the women stripping Thabiso down to her underwear and pulling at her body and what is left of her clothes. Thabiso is clearly distressed. This has caused further harm by having been circulated on social media.
Thabiso reported the case on 9 January to an investigating officer. The perpetrators were arrested on 11 January and the case has been handed over to a prosecutor at the Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court. Thabiso consulted with the prosecutor on 13 January and the case will proceed to court with the date yet to be set. The perpetrators, one of whom is a minor, were released on 13 January.
The bodily and sexual assault of anyone based on their gender identity is unacceptable. We strongly oppose this hate crime and stand firmly behind Thabiso. We, as members of the LGBTQI+ community, refuse to continue to be subjected to abuse due to our sexual orientation and gender identity. Let this be an example that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in our communities is intolerable and will be dealt with justly in the legal system. We further condemn the sensationalism of Thabiso’s story in the media, which has further infringed on her dignity and privacy.
We thank everyone who has showed up to support Thabiso. Her struggle is our struggle, and it is far from over. Let us all come together to support the call for justice and for an equal society where discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons is no longer tolerated.
This statement was collectively issued by Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF), Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM), Maureen Thela Foundation, Shemah Koleinu & Triangle Project.
For further information, please contact:
Amelia Mfiki (DTHF) at 078 916 3119 or
Thuli Mjwara, (IAM) at 083 506 3220