The LGBTQ+ community were left horrified after the discovery of Portia Simphiwe Mtshweni’s mutilated body in Tweefontein, Mpumalanga bringing the festive season of 2019 to a very tragic end.
According to a report from the South African Police Service (SAPS), members of the community discovered her body the morning of Saturday December 28 near Zamani Primary School.
“The body of this woman, who has since been identified as Simphiwe Mtshweni, was found with multiple stab wounds. The medical personnel were also summoned to the scene where the victim was certified dead,” said the police.
MambaOnline reports that the murder has been described as gruesome, with Simphiwe’s breasts and other body parts said to have been removed. Because of the nature and brutality of the attack, not only do they suspect that she was raped, but that the young woman was the victim of a hate crime and likely
killed because of her sexuality.
Simphiwe was well known as a lesbian within the community, activist Mpumelelo Mayisela, who knew her as a family friend, confirmed this. “We’ve never had a case like this in the Tweefontein community before, where a woman is killed and raped and mutilated in this way,” he said.
“I immediately thought, ‘this is definitely a homophobic attack, she’s been killed because she’s lesbian’.
That’s also the general sense coming out of the community”.
Mayisela described his friend as “very sweet and quiet. We’ve shared drinks, we’ve hung out together, she’s been to our house lots of times. She had a beautiful smile and was very protective of my sister. She never had anything bad to say about other people”.
Simphiwe’s memorial service was held on Thursday January 2 at the People’s Freedom Church of South Africa in Tweefontein, preceded by a march demanding an end to violence against LGBT people, women and children in Tweefontein F (Shisampana).
The police are calling for members of the public to assist in gaining information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect(s) in the case by calling Captain Vusimuzi Mahlangu at 082 318 9894 or contacting the Tweefontein SAPS on 082 922 9412.