Trans woman murdered

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BRUTAL MURDER: Phoebe Titus, a transgender woman from the Western Cape, was allegedly stabbed to death by a 15-year-old boy in Wolseley late last year. The teenager will appear in court next Thursday

Rights group Triangle Project says increasing violence against gay and
lesbian people has become a worrying trend.

This follows reports of the brutal murder of a Western Cape transgender
woman, allegedly stabbed to death by a 15-year-old boy in broad daylight on
December 27 due to her gender identity.

According to Sharon Cox, health and support service manager at Triangle
Project, the 30-year-old Phoebe Titus was at a shop in Wolseley buying ice
lollies when she allegedly stepped on the toes of a 15-year-old boy accidentally.

It is alleged that the furious youth responded with a homophobic slur (“vuil
moffe”). “After being repeatedly verbally abused by the teen, Titus told a friend’s
mother across the road from the shop that she was sick of being called names,”
Cox said.

Titus then allegedly picked up a plastic crate and gestured with it to
the youth. A man in his 20s reportedly handed a knife to the boy, who then
allegedly plunged it into Titus’s neck. “Bleeding profusely, she staggered
away, collapsing and dying about 500m down the road in a pool of blood,” Cox
said.

The teenager, who cannot be named, was arrested and appeared in court
shortly after the attack. It is said that he was immediately released on bail into
the custody of his grandmother. Western Cape police confirmed that
the boy will appear in court again next week Thursday.

Cox expressed the group’s concern about hate speech and unchallenged
LGBTI slurs. “Each time a child overhears someone
calling an LGBTI person a ‘stabane’ or a ‘moffie’ or ‘dirty’, they learn not to
value that person as a human being.

We hope that one of the things South Africans will take away from the vile
racism we saw on social media is that we all have a role in challenging unacceptable
behaviour,”she said. Cox said that they were also shocked at the horrific murder of a young lesbian

woman in the Vaal Triangle. Motshidisi Pascalina, 20, was found in a field on
December 18.

KUTULLO MADISHA

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