16.06. 2021

KZN MEC Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza Visited Hate Crime Victim Anele Bhengu’s Home

KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Mrs Nonhlanhla Khoza, has commended the swift action of the police, which led to the arrest of a 39-year-old  suspect allegedly involved in the murder of a young KwaMakhutha woman.

The body of Anele Bhengu, 22, was found in a pool of blood dumped in an open field after she was allegedly raped, stabbed, her throat slit and stomach cut open. 

Her brutal murder sparked more fears within the gay and lesbian community as they are increasingly becoming targets of homophobia around the province, with Durban becoming a hotspot. 

Bhengu died after she was fetched by her friend from her home.  On Tuesday,  MEC Khoza and Speaker of eThekwini Municipality, Councillor Weziwe Thusi, visited the Bhengu family and gave them assurance that police were on the heels of the suspects involved in such atrocity.

Determined police officers from Port Shepstone Tactical Response Team, Margate Detectives and other units followed up on information regarding the suspect and he was arrested in Mlahlandlini area, Gcilima, on the South Coast.

MEC Khoza said the arrest of the suspect shows that government would never tolerate criminals who want to hold law-abiding citizens hostage.

She emphasised that the arrest of the suspect brought back confidence of the society in government. 

“The suspect must face the full might of the law. Our justice system must send out a strong message that there is no place in our democracy for such callous and inhumane acts,” she said.

MEC Khoza said she strongly believed that the arrested man would help police track down others who were involved in Bhengu’s brutal murder.

She urged the police to leave no stone unturned to find more alleged perpetrators of this heinous crime and bring them to book.

“We have repeatedly condemned attacks and violation of LGBTQIA+ rights as acts of gross criminality and are against the ethos of our democracy. We call on our communities to assist in intelligence gathering, which may assist in reducing the incidence of violent crimes directed at the LGBTQIA+ community,” said MEC Khoza.

She added that it was imperative for all people to live in harmoniously at all times.  She urged people to respect the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa by fighting against the discrimination of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“As the Department, we will continue to advocate for change of mentality in our society to end these hate crimes.  The arrest of the suspect in Bhengu’s murder should send a strong message to others that crime does not pay and that the full might of the law shall come down hard on perpetrators of such senseless acts. We call on the courts not go grant the suspects bail so as to send a strong message to homophobes.”

The suspect is expected to appear before the Umbumbulu Magistrates’ Court  soon.

Issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development