Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blackmail and Extortion in the Increase in the gay community in Ghana

there has been lots of blackmail or extortion cases in the country. Most of the cases of blackmail comes from Accra which is the capital of Ghana. Its is beleived that of of the young guys who engaged in this act are un-enployed and so rely on the "unatural law" in the country criminal code to extort moneys from gay and lesbian people after sexual encounters with them. Some of these guys lures foriegners and even Ghanaians fromother regionals capitals to Accra and then robbed them of their moneys and mobile phones. Some of these gay guys are subjected to severe beatings by these blackmailers and called names such as thief. Foriegners are forced to cash huge sums of moneys from their ATM cards to pay to avoid been reported to the police. All must be careful and people who have experience such act in Ghana must send their expeirence to and if anyone also needs counselling support, let us know through that same emails address. Prince.

marching to condemn lesbian killings

By Nthateng Mhlambiso (BTM Senior Reporter) Source: August 10, 2007: One of the marchers during the 07 – 07 – 07 campaign in Meadowlands, Soweto, Suzan Phetoe (22), confirmed her fear towards the recent murders of Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Masooa. Alliance for Campaign 07 -07 -07, which is made up of more than 25 South African organisations – led by the Joint Working Group (JWG), aims to raise consciousness towards violations of gay people. Started at the Meadowlands Stadium towards Meadowlands Police Station, the march coincided with the South African national Women’s Day. Battling to contain herself, Phetoe added that some of the four suspects arrested might be known to her. “According to what I have been told in description of the four suspects arrested, I am suspecting I know them and I can’t believe that they would do something like this.” Generally the march sent a message that gay people are human beings. “Killing us won’t help. We will continue to be friends, lovers, cousins and sisters forever”, she asserted. The 07 -07 -07 campaign, which saw support from the township community, was well-attended by hundreds of people from gay organisations such as the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW), Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Behind The Mask, Out LGBT-Wellbeing just to mention a few. Speaking at the march, Director of Positive Women’s Network (PWN) Prudence Mabele said the gay community has nothing to celebrate on Women’s Day because lesbian women are being killed just for their sexual orientation. “We want justice for the two women who were killed, and to ensure that such deaths do not happen in South Africa to anyone. We want freedom in our country”, Mabele appealed. The memorandum handed to Director Mthuthuzeli Liwani of Meadowlands Police Station demanded justice and an end to hate crimes, witnesses’ protection and perpetrators to be refused bail and for the South African Police Services (SAPS) to convene a meeting with the townships’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) society to hear their needs. Gay organisations however acknowledged the work that SAPS has done so far. Liwani promised to forward the memorandum to the Provincial Commissioner and the SAPS national office. “We, as the SAPS in Meadowlands Police Station, share the same feeling with you [the gay community]. We will endeavour to assist to meet all demands made”, Liwani elaborated. The JWG, a national network of LGBTI focused organisations in South Africa which was also part of the march, pointed out in a statement that South African women are still plagued by violence after thirteen years into democracy. “We call on our women leaders to break the silence on sexism and homophobia to express their anger at all forms of gender-based violence and at the murders of all women including lesbian women”, the JWG said in the statement. Meanwhile, the four arrested suspects will appear at the Protea Magistrates court on 13 August this year.

lesbian murders on the rise

By Lesego Masike (BTM Reporter) and Thobeka Khoza (BTM Correspondent) source: August 13, 2007: Meanwhile whistle-blowing by the Meadowlands community in Soweto, South Africa, led to the detention of four men linked to the murders of Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Masooa, the Ladysmith police in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province are hunting for alleged murderers of yet another lesbian woman. Believed to be linked to hate crime, naked body of Thokozani Qwabe (23) was found by outside E Section Community Hall at Ezakheni on 22 July in an isolated field. She had wounds to the head and stab wounds in her body. According to Tile Qwabe, sister of the deceased, Thokozane left home at three in the afternoon on Saturday of 21 July for Moloi’s Tavern in the same area in the company of a neighbour, Sbusiso Mbatha. Mbatha said they were approached by three gun wielding men in the midnight but he escaped while Thokozane was intercepted. While it’s still unknown of what happened afterwards, Mbatha was arrested for interrogation 22 July and was later released due to lack of evidence. “Being in a company of the person when last seen is not proof that the suspect killed the victim,” explained Captain Ursula Cronje of Ezakheni Police Station. DNA samples were taken from Thokozane’s body and the suspect’s, and taken to the South African Police Services (SAPS) Forensic laboratory for comparison. Thokozane was buried on 28 July at her home in Ladysmith. The growing number of murders of the gay community in South Africa has prompted many gay organisations to take action and put pressure to government and communities in general to condemn such murders.