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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 20: (SOUTH AFRICA, UAE, BRAZIL OUT) South African human rights activists protest protest against homosexuals imprisoned in Malawi, outside the Home Affairs' Offices May 20, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. A gay couple have been sentenced to the maximum of 14 years in prison for "unnatural acts" and "gross indecency".

South Africans Confronted with Reality of Continued Homophobic Murders

South Africans are rallying under the online banner of #JusticeForLulu after Andile 'Lulu' Ntuthela, a member of the LGBT community, was brutally murdered.

A 40-year-old South African man, Andile "Lulu" Ntuthela, was recently murdered and buried in a shallow grave in what is believed to be an act of homophobia. Ntuthela's body was reportedly only found eleven days after his tragic death. The 28-year-old suspect, who has not been named as yet, is expected to appear at the Kwa-Nobuhle Magistrates Court in the Eastern Cape today. LGBT activists and allies of the community have arranged to protest at the court today while many South Africans on social media are demanding justice under the banner of #JusticeForLulu.

READ: 'Africa is Queer!'

According to IOL, Eastern Cape police spokesman, Colonel Priscilla Naidu, provided comment on the case saying:

"On 1 April 2021 until the 9 April 2021, the suspect was hospitalised for his mental condition. On his discharge from hospital, he was arrested and detained for the malicious damage to property. While detectives were questioning him, information emerged relating to the murder of Andile Ntuthela. Ntuthela was gay. On Saturday, 10 April 2021 police went back to the house with the necessary roleplayers and the body of Ntuthela was found buried in the yard."

Ntuthela's murder is the latest in what continues to be the active targeting of members of the LGBT community in South Africa. Most recently, Sphamandla Khoza, was repeatedly stabbed to death in KwaZulu-Natal and his body reportedly dumped in a sewerage manhole a week ago. Khoza's shoes were then placed in front of the gate to his home by the perpetrators. According to Khoza's cousin, Ndumiso Daluxolo Ngidi, Khoza had been attacked by men he knew and grew up around.

According to a report released in 2017, one in four South Africans knew someone who had been murdered because they were part of the LGBT community. Additionally, Black people were disproportionately affected versus their white counterparts with attacks being concentrated in the rural parts of the country although this is changing.

Here are some of the reactions from South Africans on social media with regards to Ntuthela's murder.

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Lukhanyo Mdingi on Making his Paris Fashion Week Debut

We talked to the South African designer who, after co-winning the LMVH Prize last year, showcased his Bodyland Autumn/Winter 22-23 collection in Paris earlier this month.

In 2015, South African designer Lukhanyo Mdingi founded his eponymous label. Inspired by his mother and grandmother who raised him, Mdingi has created a formidable brand that is centered on building a bridge between heritage and timeless fashion pieces. Since the brand’s inception, Mdingi has made great strides in fashion, from his NYFW debut in 2019 to being crowned a joint winner of the 2021 LVMH Karl Lagerfeld Prize.

This year, Mdingi took his vision of Africa to France’s fashion capital, Paris, where he made his Bodyland Autumn/Winter 22-23 debut for the Paris Fashion Week Menswear Collection. Being the first designer on the program schedule to present, Mdingi showcased a collection that spoke of the relationship he shares with himself and the artisans he collaborates with. For the past two years, Mdingi has been working to source his woven textiles and knitwear from crafts communities in Burkina Faso, Somalia, and the Eastern Cape, and the collection featured textural and sartorial nuances paying homage to his being a young Black creative.

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