The murder of a 22-year-old lesbian from Khayelitsha has left the LGBTI community there on edge, a gender activist said on Monday.
The woman was found dead on a footbridge near the Driftsands Nature Reserve on Sunday, with a gunshot wound to her body, sparking fears that she was targeted because of her sexuality.
Funeka Soldaat, the founder of FreeGender, said: "It is going to make most of the lesbians very uncomfortable because it is a small area. Everybody is a little bit scared."
Independent Online identified the murdered woman as Noluvo Swelindawo, and reported that she had been seen with a bruised eye on Friday, but that she had not explained in detail what had caused it. On Saturday night, she was apparently taken from her shack, and her body was found on Sunday.
Nobody has been arrested yet, but there are fears that her murder may be linked to her sexuality.
Soldaat said Swelindawo's murder highlighted an urgent need for a day dedicated to educating people about homophobia and how to stop it.
"Because if we don't, we are going to be in trouble."
Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana urged anybody with information about the murder to contact CrimeStop on 08600 10111.
People sent condolences and expressed their anger and pain on social media:
Our hearts go out to the family of #NoluvoSwelindawo 💕🌻 Queerphobia is one of many many things that need to fall.— Shackville TRC (@ShackvilleTRC) December 5, 2016
Another queer woman murdered, silence from the government... "just another dead lesbian." Something must be done. 💔 #noluvoswelindawo— bitter butter (@ZaireMvelase) December 5, 2016
Our lives eKasi are cheap shem, our lives as queers eKasi are nothing, the lives of black queer females are taken BRUTALLY #NoluvoSwelindawo— SNLV kaJolinkomo (@lukhanyo_velelo) December 5, 2016
Why so much hate towards LGBTQs ? Why must they live in fear cause of assholes ? #NoluvoSwelindawo— 👑 (@Bontleful1) December 5, 2016
Every time a black lesbian's killed, a piece of me gets overwhelmed by fear and anxiety...waiting for my turn #NoluvoSwelindawo :(— Baconista (@SlyPod) December 5, 2016