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Reports: Miss Gay Kuruman beheaded

KURUMAN, South Africa -- A volunteer working for Legbo Northern Cape in Kuruman has been beheaded for being gay, the NGO said Tuesday night.

Thapelo Makutle, 23, was found dead in his rented room on Saturday.

Police reported that he had been found with his throat slit, but the NGO said that he had been beheaded.

“Witnesses told us that on Friday night two heterosexual men had an argument with Thapelo because of his sexual orientation,” Legbo director Shain Griqua said from Kimberley.

“They followed him home and beheaded him on his bed. Although they are known to some, they remain at large.”

Makutle was recently crowned Miss Gay Kuruman.

Griqua was on his way to Kuruman to the Makutle family, who could not be reached Tuesday night. He said there had been a string of homophobic attacks, but politicians were not serious about tackling hate crime.

Cosatu now wants the Northern Cape government to call a summit on hate crime. Its Northern Cape secretary, Anele Gxoyiya, said Cosatu condemned the murder of “a young, brilliant soul whose head was chopped off in a hate crime for being gay.”

The NGO is planning a march in Kuruman on Friday in protest against hate crimes and homophobic violence.

Kuruman police spokeswoman, Constable Ntombi Manie, said the motive for the murder at this stage was unknown. “The deceased was found fully clothed, in the room he was renting in Tsweding Village.”

She indicated that no arrests had been made yet and that the murder weapon had not been found.

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