'Homophobic murder' suspect appears in Eastern Cape court

13 April 2021 - 10:23 By belinda pheto
A man will appear in court for an alleged homophobic murder in the Eastern Cape. Stock photo.
A man will appear in court for an alleged homophobic murder in the Eastern Cape. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Stockstudio44

A 28-year-old suspect appeared in the KwaNobuhle magistrate’s court on Tuesday for allegedly killing a gay man and burying him outside his house.

Police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu said the murder was suspected to be related to homophobia.

She said the arrest happened after the man's family complained to the police, saying he had burnt bedding at his house in Matana Street, KwaNobuhle, on the outskirts of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape.

“On April 1, the family reported the malicious property damage to police and indicated that they were suspicious that he may have been involved in some other criminal activity. Police went to the house and found bloodstains inside his room as well as outside,” said Naidu.

She said the man was sent for mental health evaluation between April 1 and 9 and on his discharge from hospital was arrested and detained for malicious damage to property.

“While detectives were questioning him, information emerged relating to the murder of Andile Ntuthela, 40. Ntuthela was gay. On Saturday, April 10, police went back to the house with the necessary role players and the body of Ntuthela was found buried in the yard,” she explained.

The Herald reported that Ntuthela’s gruesome killing had left members of KwaNobuhle’s LGBTQI community reeling. Their way of life, they said, was often met with prejudice.

“We know we are not safe. We only hang out with people that we know and trust because we know the prejudice we face,” his close friend, Sixolile Ndlondlo, said. “Andile knew his [alleged] killer. They were friends. For him to be killed like this ... has us questioning who we can trust.” 

Luvuyo Jonas appeared in the Uitenhage magistrate's court on Monday on a charge of malicious damage to property.

He appeared in the KwaNobuhle magistrate’s court on Tuesday on a charge of murder. The case was postponed to June 1.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of SA expressed shock in a statement at the alarming rate of homophobic-related murders in the country. Less than two weeks ago, a homophobic-related murder occurred in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The recent acts of gender-based violence against members of the LGBTQIA+ community calls for a concerted and collective effort from members and organisations of the LGBTQIA+ community,” the organisation said.