Twenty-three-year-old Thapelo Makutle—who "identified as gay and transgender"—was an outreach worker with Legbo Northern Cape. Makutle's body was discovered on June 9 in their home near Kuruman, Northern Cape province. Makutle's throat was slashed, the head was "nearly severed", and their body was dismembered. Jajini was arrested in July 2012. Activists say "the alleged killer [is] arrogant and [has] appeared to show no remorse" in court proceedings.
Watch SABC's report AFTER THE JUMP ..
Same-sex acts are currently illegal in at least 38 of 54 African countries. Four nations—Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan—boast the death penalty for gays or same-sex activity. South Africa and Seychelles are the only African nations that protect LGBT rights. SA is also the only African nation to guarantee marriage equality and gay adoption.
Despite these protections, the reality is much different for many Black LGBT South Africans. Life in the impoverished townships is far less tolerant. Lesbians, gay men and transgender men and women are often targeted by violent attacks. There are reports of an escalation in violence and so-called "corrective rape" targeting lesbians, reports NPR.
Meanwhile: Authorities believe a gang of brutal robbers and serial killers have targeted gay men around Johannesburg and Cape Town over the past three years. At least nine men have been killed. Police have made several arrests but the attacks have continued.
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