Eudy Simelane PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 March 2011 09:25

Eudy Simelane

Born: 1977

Died: 28 April 2008. KwaThema, Springs, Gauteng, South Africa

Age: 31

Cause of death: Gang raped, beaten and stabbed.

Notable because: South Africa women's footballer who was murdered for being lesbian in the unfortunately South African muntuist practice of 'corrective rape' whereby a class layer of South African men believe a woman can be cured of lesbianism if they gang rape her.

Eudy Simelane was a South African footballer who played for the South Africa women's national football team and an LGBT-rights activist. She was raped and murdered in her hometown of KwaThema, Springs Gauteng. According to the NGO ActionAid, and backed by the South African Human Rights Commission, these crimes remain unrecognized by the state and unpunished by the legal system.

As well as being one of South Africa's best-known female footballers, Simelane was a voracious equality rights campaigner and one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian in Kwa Thema.

Simelane played as a midfielder for Springs Home Sweepers F.C. and the South Africa women's national football team. She also coached four teams and was studying to be a referee.

Simelane's partially-clothed body was found in a creek in KwaThema. She had been gang raped, beaten, and stabbed 25 times in the face, chest, and legs. She had been one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian in KwaThema. A report by the international NGO ActionAid, backed by the South African Human Rights Commission, suggested that her murder was a hate crime committed against her because of her sexual orientation.eudy-simelane

According to local gay-rights organization Triangle, the practice of "corrective rape" is widespread in South Africa, whereby men rape lesbians purportedly to "cure" them of their sexual orientation.

The trial of four suspected attackers began on 11 February 2009 in Delmas, Mpumalanga. One of the four alleged attackers pleaded guilty to rape and murder and was sentenced to 32 years' imprisonment. In September 2009 another was convicted of murder, rape and robbery, and sentenced to life plus 35 years, while the remaining two accused were acquitted.



A miniature bridge was erected in KwaThema, Springs, Gauteng in her honour in 2009




Alarmingly, 'corrective' rape is a recurrent crime in South Africa. In Cape Town alone there has been more than one corrective rape reported to support group Luleki Sizwe per day, yet no one has ever been convicted of the offence.

Corrective rape refers to the notion that lesbians can, and should, be raped in order to be heterosexual and is not classed as a hate crime in South Africa.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 June 2012 08:04

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