The brutality of this hate-inspired murder is a reflection of a society that is sick to the core. Aphiwe was a 17-year-old successful model for Woolworths, Jet and Mr Price, who enjoyed the money he made from modelling and dressed the part.
An aspirant fashion designer, he greatly admired international fashion icon David Tlali.
He was driven by ambition and a vision of where he wanted to go. But then he was butchered to death by a panga-wielding gang who did not like his “swag” (code for “moffie”). His distraught friends claim that he was not gay.
Aphiwe’s murder is part of an explosion of hate crimes against the LGBT community throughout Africa, and in Uganda in particular. Its adoption of an anti-gay law this past week is the death knell for the LGBT community in that country. President Museveni admitted in an interview with Jane Vergee of CNN that he hates gays and “finds them disgusting!”.
Like Robert Mugabe, renowned for his utterance that gays are lower than pigs, Museveni too plumbs the depths of depravity by giving his citizens carte blanche to harm and attack homosexuals as they wish. Already a list of “top homosexuals” has been published.
President Jacob Zuma, who shows some semblance of respect for our Constitution, refuses to condemn his brothers in arms.
Having also claimed sometime ago that homosexuality was unnatural and contrary to African culture, he seems very reluctant to extol our Constitution’s virtues of respect for not only racial and gender equality but also rights to sexual orientation. Aphiwe’s murder, vicious in its execution, indicates frighteningly what is in store for those men who identify as gay or who might even “look gay”.
While corrective rape and murder are reserved for black lesbians, gay men will simply be butchered to death. Not only was Aphiwe suspected of being gay, his love of fashion made him the object of envy of feral gangs who know they have no prospect of employment. How else do we explain the gang stripping his dead body of its designer accoutrement?
Walking away from their atrocious deed, they seemed very happy with their ill-gotten gains. And the important question is this: where are the police in all of this? Why has this murder not captured the headlines, but an altercation between white and black students at UFS gets bleated across the country’s media as though it warrants headline news?
Worryingly, the police seem helpless. They allow these township gangs to reign with impunity. South Africa’s reluctance to condemn Uganda once again proves that blood is thicker than water and brings to life the conspiracy of the brothers in arms in Africa, who will sooner see their own people butchered to death than protect them against the anti-gay hate-mongers.
Threats from Western countries to withdraw aid from Uganda are to be welcomed.
Although many now blame the American Pentecostal church for influencing Museveni, they fail to recognise that these Pentecostals are merely inflaming prejudices which have festered in Uganda for a long time.
Museveni has given homophobia legitimacy by inscribing it into law. Sooner or later, this heterosexual thug will get his comeuppance!