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#JusticeForLulu: here’s what you should know about Andile Ntuthela’s murder

13 April 2021 - 13:12 By cebelihle bhengu
A 28-year old man will appear in the KwaNobuhle magistrate's court in connection with the murder of a gay man. Stock photo.
A 28-year old man will appear in the KwaNobuhle magistrate's court in connection with the murder of a gay man. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Stockstudio44

The LGBTQIA+ community is reeling after the murder of Andile “Lulu” Ntuthela, from KwaNobuhle in the Eastern Cape.

On social media, calls for justice and protection of the community are mounting as scores express shock over the gruesome murder.

Here’s what you need to know:

Ntuthela’s disappearance and gruesome discovery

HeraldLIVE reported that Ntuthela’s family last saw him on March 31 when he left to visit a friend. His cousin, Asanda Ntuthela, said he hadn’t returned by the Easter weekend but they were not worried as he usually spent time with friends.

A week later, Asanda heard the police had received a tip-off about a body buried in the home of Ntuthela’s friend, who is now a suspect in his murder. The police made no breakthrough in the initial investigation.

At the weekend, she became worried after hearing police had discovered the “body of a gay guy” at the home of the suspect and she immediately went to the scene.

She showed the suspect’s family a photograph of Ntuthela, taken on the day of his disappearance, and they were shocked because they had allegedly found the same clothes covered in blood.

Court appearance 

Police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu told TimesLIVE the suspect will appear in the KwaNobuhle magistrate’s court on Tuesday to face a murder charge.

The suspect was taken in for mental evaluation on April 1 after his family reported him for burning bedding in his home in Montana street. On April 9 he was detained and charged for malicious damage to property.

Naidu said details about Ntuthela’s murder emerged during questioning, prompting them to return to the suspect’s home for further investigation. This is when his body was found buried.

Condemnation from the LGBTQIA+ community 

The Gay and Lesbian Association of SA (Glasa) condemned Ntuthela’s murder and called for the justice system to ensure perpetrators face harsher sentences for their crimes.

“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 community. They must unite for a common purpose and call for harsher sentencing and prioritisation of LGBTQIA+ hate crimes,” said Glasa.

Social media 

Scores have taken to social media to demand justice for Ntuthela. Here are some responses: