Murder of Andile ‘Lulu’ Ntuthela sends LGBTQIA+ protestors to parliament.
By Imaan Voterson
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 1 of VARSITY News.
On 16 April, devastated activists of the LGBTIQA+ community marched to parliament calling for justice for the murder of Andile ‘Lulu’ Ntuthela.
Kamva Gwana of the #JusticeForLulu movement said: “We want justice for the brutal homicide of Lulu and other queer bodies who have suffered in this country. Queer bodies do not walk and live freely, they live in a hetero-patriarchal society.” Gwana stated that they wanted hate crimes to be dealt with and that they believed that the police are queerphobic.
Ntuthela’s family reported him missing after he failed to return home during the Easter weekend. Days later, his body was discovered on the property of Lulu’s friend, Luvuyo Jonas, who is now a suspect in the murder and currently in custody.
Protestors stood outside parliament singing while holding candles and placards saying: “#JusticeForLulu” and “I’m sorry that we couldn’t protect you.”
Activist and organiser, Tutu Zondo, said the LGBTIQA+ community was suffering. “We’re being gruesomely killed, raped and not treated as equal members of society. We live in an incredible country that has laws and rights for the LGBTQIA+ community but our lived experiences don’t always reflect that.” He also added that their history has been ignored for too long and that they have been erased.
NGO Iranti said that the LGTQIA+ community held a meeting in the Eastern Cape where attendees said police did not take LGBTQIA+ cases seriously and that they were often told that cases were closed when they followed up.
“Community members pointed to poor investigations and a lack of sensitivity among police officers when dealing with such cases. The community resolved to have a meeting with the station commander the following Tuesday.”
Sibusiso Kheswa from Iranti said that they were “angered by the attacks on LGBTQIA+ community and the government must ensure justice is served.” He said that many cases have been closed by the police and National Prosecuting Authority without thorough investigations, which gives the impression that “LGBTQIA+ lives don’t matter.”
The #JusticeForLulu protest aimed to hand over a memorandum of demands that related to the Hate Crime bill.
Provincial Secretary of the ANC, Ronalda Nalumango, received and signed the memorandum handed over by the group. She agreed that there should be no bail for perpetrators of crime against the LGBTQIA+ community.
Demands in the group’s memo also included that parliament should arrange a debate on hate crimes to discuss the importance of the protection of the rights of the LGBTQIA+ society.
Protestors claimed that they would return if their demands were not met.