South African lesbian’s killing alarms gays

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(11 May 2011) HEADLINE: South African lesbian’s killing alarms gays
CAPTION: The brutal slaying of a lesbian in a South African township last month has further alarmed the gay community, already worried about being targeted despite the country’s laws giving them marriage and parenting rights. (11 May 2011)

Kwa-Thema township, east of Johannesburg, South Africa – 06 May 2011
1. Wide pan from dirt track in the Kwa-Thema township, to waste ground where Noxolo Nogwaza’s body was found
2. Mid of two friends of Nogwaza looking in the undergrowth where the body was found
3. Close of undergrowth
4. Mid of friends looking through the undergrowth
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Muntu Masombuka, friend of Noxolo Nogwaza:
“imagine, all the teeth, out. The scalp, cutting with a knife, taking out the skin. How do you sleep at night? Knowing that you have killed somebody in that way.”
6. Wide gay and lesbian activists gathering at a nearby house for a meeting
7. Mid of activists walking through the door
8. Close tilt down of photos on the wall showing gay and lesbian victims of violent attacks – camera zooms in on photo of Noxolo Nogwaza (wearing baseball cap in white shirt)
9. Wide meeting in process
10. Close photo on the wall of two women kissing
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Bontle Khalo, Friend of Noxolo Nogwaza and a gay rights activist:
“I am really confused about it. I don’t have answers. I don’t know. But it is happening and it is happening at a speed that even we can’t understand.”
Pretoria, South Africa – 09 May 2011
12. Wide set-up of Tlali Tlali, spokesman for the South African Ministry of Justice, seated at his desk
13. Cutaway of Tlali’s hands on his computer
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Tlali Tlali, spokesman for the South African Ministry of Justice:
“South Africa is a constitutional state. Everyone in South Africa enjoys protection, from the constitution. And these rights, including sexual orientation, is a right that is constitutionally guaranteed. So, no single individual has an authority to come and prescribe to the next person as to what their sexual orientation must be.”
Kwa-Thema township, east of Johannesburg, South Africa – 06 May 2011
15. Wide street scene at the Kwa-Thema township
16. Close of house near where Nogwaza was murdered, pull out to spot where she was found
They found what was left of Noxolo Nogwaza in a drainage ditch choked with garbage and high reeds.
Activists say the lesbian’s death late last month highlights an alarming rise in homophobic violence in some of South Africa’s most impoverished areas.
Her friend Muntu Masombuka said it was terrifying how Nogwaza’s body had been butchered….
At one time the neighborhood where the 24-year-old mother of two was slain was considered a haven for black gays and lesbians. Then three years ago a national soccer star was killed there, and another lesbian was stabbed at a club in the area in 2009. Gay pride marches afterward brought hopes that things had turned around.
But those were dashed when Nogwaza was murdered. No one’s been arrested over her death.
Friend and fellow activist Bontle Khalo appeared almost stunned by the violence against gays wracking the townships, the communities where blacks were forced to live years ago under apartheid…
Justice ministry spokesman Tlali Tlali notes that South Africa offers legal protection for gays and lesbians, even as other African countries punish homosexuality…
Activists have used South Africa’s charter to push for more in the courts, overturning anti-sodomy laws and securing rights for gay parents. But some worry such successes may be triggering backlash, with people like Noxolo Nogwaza paying with their lives.

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