Main | Monday, July 30, 2012

SOUTH AFRICA: Lesbian Beaten Unconscious By Security Guards After Kissing Girlfriend At Shopping Center

A South African lesbian woman says she was beaten unconscious by shopping mall security guards after they saw her kiss her girlfriend goodbye.
“I accompany her to work every morning,” said Khanyisa Ndoda, 21. “And every morning I give her a goodbye kiss. “But as we kissed that day, we heard these guys saying ‘Some people will never reach heaven’ and shouting ‘Voertsek’.” Mtshali confronted the three men, who were security guards from Hlanganani Protection Services, the contracted security provider of the Carlton Centre. “I asked ‘What did we do wrong? Why are you talking to us like that?” she said. “Then they started pulling my hair and beating me.”

For the minutes that followed she was kicked, hit and pushed to the ground. Ndoda watched horrified: “I was traumatised, I didn’t know what to do.” Though the shopping centre was crowded, nobody stepped in to stop the assault. “Then they took her (Mtshali) outside, onto the pavement,” alleged Ndoda. “One of the guys said they couldn’t do everything they wanted to do inside the mall because there were cameras.” She pleaded for her girlfriend to be left alone, saying that if they had done something wrong, they just be detained or fined.

The couple were taken to the security offices. “They were so rude,” said Ndoda. “They said (Mtshali) acted like she was a man, that the mall was not the place to kiss my girlfriend, that we should get a room.” As the security guards berated the pair - “two girls kissing was public indecency”, they were allegedly told, “like urinating in the street” - Mtshali collapsed and began foaming at the mouth. The guards refused to let Ndoda or their friends take her to hospital and it was allegedly an hour before they called an ambulance. Mtshali regained consciousness three hours later.
Johannesburg police allegedly told the couple to drop their charges as "it wasn’t a big case and would be expensive." Activists quoted in the above-linked story say that "eight to ten" homosexuals have been murdered in South Africa in just the last few months.

RELATED: The epithet hurled at the women, voertsek, is a vulgar Afrikaans slang word often shouted at animals.

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