South Africa continues to experience unacceptably high levels of sexual violence. Last year the South African police reported over 64,000 sexual offences including 48,000 cases of rape. Such attacks often stem from pervasive discriminatory attitudes and practices, particularly from male partners, against women in South African society. The government, communities, families and schools have a collective responsibility to spread public awareness and promote men’s respect for women’s right to equality and sexual autonomy.
Amnesty is concerned with the push throughout much of Africa, including in South Africa, toward criminalization on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The recent attacks on members of the LGBT community demonstrate the need for immediate action to address the growing inequality for lesbian and gay individuals living within the region. Amnesty International has worked specifically on the Protected content of Noxolo Nogwaza. Ms. Nogwaza was murdered in South Africa on her way home from a night out with friends. Her attacker(s) raped, repeatedly beat and stabbed the twenty-four year old lesbian, apparently because of her sexual orientation, before dumping her body in a drainage ditch. A year after her death, no progress has been made in the investigation into her murder and her killer(s) remain at large.