Four guilty of lesbian killing in South Africa

7th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Four men were convicted Friday of murdering a lesbian in Cape Town, in a case that dragged on for five years and heightened concerns about "corrective rape" targeting gay women.

The four men stoned, kicked and stabbed to death 19-year-old Zoliswa Nkonyana just metres (yards) from her home in 2006, the Khayelitsha Regional Court found.

She had lived openly as a lesbian.

Magistrate Raadiyah Wathen acquitted three others because there was no evidence that linked them to the killing, though they were present when it occurred.

Wathen last month set free two others in a case that was postponed more than 30 times because defence lawyers were changed or failed to arrive at court.

South Africa is the only African country that allows same-sex marriage, but violence against openly gay people is common.

Lesbians are targeted for attacks known as "corrective rape", by men trying to "cure" their homosexuality. Big groups are said to take part in the crime, but only a few are convicted.

Two years ago a man was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a lesbian activist and football player who had been gang-raped and robbed.

© 2011 AFP

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