Was slain gay musician a victim of hate crime?

Sizwe Sibiya

Just before the young Durban musician was about to get his first music deal, he was brutally stabbed 21 times.

Lindokuhle ‘Lindo’ Cele was in a butchery in Umlazi when the attacker slashed him with a knife, leaving it stuck in his eye.

Lindo was a gay rights activist and his devasted family is asking whether he was the victim of a hate crime. LGBQTI organisations believe the killing is a homophobic act – and one of at least five similar attacks recently in KZN.

The attack took place in February, and the case against the 30-year-old suspect was postponed to 29 October.

His aunt Nombuso Cele told Scrolla.Africa that the knife was jammed in his eye for four hours while he was fighting for his life. And it was still there when the family went to the mortuary to bathe his corpse.

“It had been four days. But he still had the knife stuck in his eye,” she recalls. 

“We found 21 stab wounds. The killer wanted him dead. There was so much hate in the way he was stabbed.”

She says that even though he was not that famous in the music industry, Lindo was already getting booked in the suburbs and he was about to get signed to a recording company.

“His music was good. 

“He used to get gigs in big places. But he was down to earth and loving,” she added.

Sazi Jali, the founder of TransHope Organisation, said there had been other similar, recent homophobic attacks in Umlazi, Ntuzuma, and Eshowe north of Durban.

Video source: @asamngqithi