The South African football star murdered for being a lesbian

Witness History

By BBC World Service

The South African football star murdered for being a lesbian

Thursday, 11 November

Eudy Simelane was a star of the South African women's national football team and a gay rights activist. In 2008, she was pursued by a group of men after leaving a pub close to her home in the township of Kwa-Thema. She was gang raped and stabbed to death. She was 31 years old. Her family, friends and campaigners say that her sexuality made her a target for this brutal hate crime. Viv Jones speaks to Mmapaseka 'Steve' Letsike, an LGBTI activist who was a friend of Eudy’s. They became friends when they played football together as teens. Steve describes how Eudy's murder became the focus of a campaign to draw attention to attacks on gay South Africans, and black lesbians in particular. It also started a national conversation about the horrific crime of so-called 'corrective rape', where lesbians are raped to ‘cure’ or punish them. Photo: Eudy Simelane’s parents sat at the bridge named in their daughter’s honour. Credit: BBC
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