JOHANNESBURG - Police are still probing the brutal killing of Thokoza lesbian Duduzile Zozo earlier this month in the Ekurhuleni township.
That’s according to Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana.
"It is still under investigation – we have shared with her colleagues (LGBTI) and as we say it is sub judice. We cannot say a lot but investigations are on-going.
"There have been a number of suspects that have been arrested but so far the evidence did not lead to her (murder). But we have experts who are following on the case and continue with intensive investigations," said Xingwana.
The minister visited Zozo’s mother, Thuziwe, at her home in the area today as part of the United Nations Orange Day campaign to end violence against women.
Last month the 26-year-old Zozo’s half naked body was found by her mother near her home, sparking outrage from community members and politicians.
The minister also met with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community behind closed doors to address issues lesbians face in the area.
"We have had very vibrant, very dynamic discussions. We decided that today for Orange Day let’s come to Thokoza and confront the real issues that are affecting this area.
"We have also visited the family and are ware of their concerns -- we also had a meeting in the morning with the LGBTI leadership and representatives and also we then had a discussion with the police so that they can answer some of the questions and concerns," said Xingwana.
But gender-based NGOs are skeptical of the minister’s visit.
"We have had several engagements like this – we were promised that (the government) will do one, two, three -- we will start up with campaigns that will address your issues.
"My frustration is that (this happens) only now because Duduzile has died. There are a lot of lesbian women and other cases are not being reported," said Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) member Dikeledi Sibanda.
"It is so sad that she only came now after all the murders that have been happening all over South Africa. I am sure they were all in the news and I am sure she heard about them," said Sibanda.
She said the minister has proposed future campaigns to address issues.
The minister said today’s discussions yielded better results than past meetings.
"Rather than marching, we march every day, rather than going to a rally, a big meeting, this has been more fruitful.
"This has been more productive and we have taken very important decisions here in terms of a way forward that we need to meet more and more. We need to develop a plan -- how we are going to work in government and outside government to raise awareness about these issues," said Xingwana.