Death of Nathaniel Mbele exposes homophobia epidemic in SA
15 April 2021 - 11:40
Nathaniel Mbele’s death is proof that South Africa is dealing with a deep-rooted homphobia epidemic.
Nathaniel Mbele, or Spokgoane as he was affectionately known, was killed for living his truth, a tragedy that, unfortunately, has become synonymous with a homophobic culture that thrives in South Africa.
What happened to Nathaniel Mbele?
As reported by Mamba Online, Mbele’s body was discovered in an area in Tshirela, near Vanderbijlpark, on Thursday 2 April, at approximately 22:00.
A few hours earlier, Spokgoane had been partying with friends at a nearby tavern. For whatever reason, he never informed anyone where he was headed.
According to reports, the Bophelong resident was found with multiple stab wounds to the chest. The motive behind the crime? It is suspected that Spokgoane was killed for being gay.
His tragic story fell below the radar of mainstream media. However, the recent outrage over the brutal and senseless killing of renowned queer Andile ‘Lulu’ Ntuthela from Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, shone a light on rising attacks against the LGBTQI+ community.
Vaal community wants suspect’s bail bid rejected
Days after Spokgoane’s body was discovered, a suspect from Vaal was arrested and charged with murder. From what we understand, the man whose identity has yet to be revealed was remanded in custody after a short court appearance.
His next visit to the dock is scheduled for Monday 20 April and the LGBTQI community in Vaal has vowed to picket outside the court building, calling for the suspect’s bail application to be thrown out.
News of Mbele’s senseless death broke out on social media, bringing forth a trend that’s seen many stand up against the homophobia epidemic that’s running rampant in South Africa.
Here are some of the reactions we picked out from the trending topic.
But how does who someone sleeps with become ur problem? Can someone please make it make sense. #RIPSpokgoane— Secretary of Black Twiitter (@Prince_SA2021) April 15, 2021
Indoda must not be a homophobe#RIPSpokgoane— Mr Smeg (@Michael_Bucwa) April 15, 2021
It's not even about The person's Sexual Orientation anymore what I'm trying to understand is what right do you have to take another person's life regardless of whether they're straight or Gay. You have no right to take someone's life period! This needs to stop. #RIPSpokgoane— Lwazi Msomi (@RealLwaziMsomi) April 15, 2021