A 24-year-old gay man is recovering in hospital after being the victim of an alleged hate crime in Durban, South Africa.
Content warning: This story includes topics that could make some readers uncomfortable.
Mfundo Ngobese, a PA and model, was attacked on 24 April near the City Hall when three men reportedly approached him and his friends.
After the people he was with ran away, one of the group went up to Mfundo and is said to have told his accomplices, “here’s another one”.
“I tried to run away from them but one of them tripped me,” the victim told Mamba Online. “I fell on my right knee and from there I was beaten on my face. I started bleeding blood from my mouth and nose. I was also kicked in my right leg.”
He remains in hospital with broken teeth and a broken leg almost a week after his ordeal and is also now relying on a urine bag.
Mfundo is certain that what he experienced was a hate crime because nothing was stolen and the attackers were making anti-gay remarks.
“I wasn’t mugged. I had a phone with me and they didn’t take it,” he explained. “They kept on saying they hate gays. I believe I was punished for my sexuality.”
Homophobic Attack!! Yesterday I was attacked by 3 guys who left me for death on the street, I have been assaulted/attacked for been Gay.
as am trying to fight for my life in Hospital. I'm feeling pains on my dislocated Femur. 🥺😭 pic.twitter.com/jFPLJ8d9Mm
— Mfundo M Ngobese (@official_jrvin) April 24, 2022
The injuries are so severe that he “will need physiotherapy for me to be able to walk properly again” and is experiencing “traumatic attacks each and every night having to remember what happened to me.”
South African law does not currently define what a hate crime is, and the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill which would change this is facing a series of delays and parliamentary public hearings.
Mfundo has not been able to open a case with the police and stated that nothing has been done about the incident yet.
“I have never felt safe as someone who’s gay because of the killing and assault of the LGBTIQ community that we face each and every day,” he shared, explaining the importance of speaking out about what happened.
“As the LGBTIQ community, we have suffered a lot and when we open cases they are not taken seriously because of who we are. I believe that everyone is equal.
“All I ask is to not be treated like an animal as if we don’t belong anywhere. We are queers, we are not sinners. We are also human.”
Galop is an LGBTQ+ charity there for those who have experienced abuse or have been the victim of a hate crime. It can be contacted Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm on 0207 7042040 or at HateCrime@galop.org.uk. More information is available here.