The outrage is justified, but South Africans aren’t particularly tolerant either
Last week, a video depicting the humiliation and assault of a young South African gay man made the rounds. Watching it, I didn’t think I would experience such hell, as I saw how the Russians, assaulted the young South African teenager, at Shokhov State Technological University in Belgorod.
The 30 minute long video starts with loud music playing in the background for several seconds. A Russian guy wearing a dark mask appears sitting on a sofa, holding a grey cat. After that, a black South African teenager appears naked in the shower and the Russian perpetrator slaps him in the face. After I saw the scene, my whole body shivered with anger, disgust and shame on how a black South African teenager could be dehumanised like that.
The Russian perpetrator asks the teenage boy, “Where are you from?” and he responds with fear, “Johannesburg.” As I was listening to the video, I could hear loud voices at the back shouting in Russian.
The teenage boy’s voice is trembling in fear, as he is sitting on a white bathtub wearing an underwear and a blue t-shirt. The perpetrator, continues with his homophobic taunts in a broken English and says, “Boy on boy or boy in the boy and how many times?”; the teenage boy replies with his eyes full of shame and says “Two times.”
The Russian perpetrator asks the teenage boy “How old where you, when you first had sex?”, he replied with his voice trembling and says “at 15.”
He asks the teenager whether he was the one who penetrates other boys or if it’s the other way around. Loud laughter breaks out in the room, coming from other guys who are watching the torture.
The perpetrator points at the person behind the camera and asks the teenager, if he knows the guy and he responds by saying no. Seconds after that, the Russian perpetrator pokes the student in the face with his fingers, four times. After the humiliating poking, the perpetrator’s voice becomes loud and he starts speaking Russian fluently with the teenager and after he slaps him, hard in the face.
Seeing this video was really a wake-up call. Here at home (South Africa), we are committing the same crimes, even though our constitution recognises gay rights. Reality is that homosexual people are being murdered for living their lives openly. 24-year-old Thapelo Makutle was brutally killed and had his genitalia was inserted into his mouth, all because he was openly gay.
Recently in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, Duduzile Zizo was found half-naked and dead in a toilet with a brush in her vagina, because she too, was an open homosexual. Another sad story was that of University of Johannesburg professor, Dr Carl Miscke, who was stabbed to death at his home because he was openly gay.
Sometimes I sit alone and wonder: What have these brutally murdered homosexuals done to deserve these kinds of hate crimes? What harm does ones sexual orientation cause to another? As our iconic Bishop Desmond Tutu once said, “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”