Male rape on increase
KwaZulu-Natal police are concerned about the increase in male-on-male rapes in the province.
Though gay rights groups call for religious and traditional societies to accept homosexuals, police in Mandeni, on the North Coast, said there had been an increase in the rape of males in recent months.
Last week a 27-year-old man appeared in court for the alleged rape of a mentally disabled boy in Ezakheni village, near Ladysmith.
Police said three cases of male rape had been recorded at Sundumbili police station in the past few months.
Though the police would not be drawn on whether the victims of male rape were gay men, some people believe homosexuals are being targeted.
At the weekend, gay and lesbian organisations staged a Durban march to highlight that they are targets of discrimination, hatred and murder.
"It's about time we stood [up to] those traditional leaders who are standing against us. The killing of gays and lesbians is a threat to democracy," said one participant.
Earlier this year, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini came under fierce criticism for saying same-sex relationships were unacceptable and "rotten".
It was statements like these, said the protesters, that contributed to homophobia and hatred of gay men.
Durban Lesbian and Gay Community Centre director Nonhlanhla Mkhize said there was huge hatred of homosexuals and violent crimes against them were on the increase.
Her organisation was working hard to stop the abuse of men by other men, she said.
"We will intensify our campaign [against this] behaviour."
The chairman of the KwaZulu-Natal Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association, Jason Fiddler, said rape was a crime regardless of the gender of those involved.
He said government must work with civil society to stop the murder of gays and lesbians.
"The problem of regarding homosexuals as subhuman is societal. We want to highlight the problems faced by gays and lesbians . violence and discrimination . there is absolutely no justification, moral religious or otherwise, for this kind of hate," said Fiddler.