Former Pirates player fears his sister fell victim to anti-gay killer

Former Orlando Pirates player Bennet Chenene’s sister is feared to have become a statistic of black lesbians who have been killed because of their sexual orientation.

Chenene’s sister, Nomvula Chenene, 28, disappeared on December 10 after she left her home with a friend to go clubbing. However, she has not been seen since. This sparked fears among her family that her life might have been cut short in a hate crime, possibly perpetuated by anti-lesbian crusaders.

Since she went missing, Nomvula’s family have had sleepless nights and kept wondering what might have happened to her.

Their consternation is informed by the murder of another lesbian, Queen Mthembu, from Lakeside in June last year.

Mthembu, who went missing, was later was found murdered and her body dumped in an open veld. Her throat had been slit with a sharp object and parts of her body were burnt.

The former footie told Sunday World that his family was living in fear and being sustained by prayer and hope.

“Nomvula was at home on December 10 with her family, but a friend came by and asked her to go with her to a nearby tavern. However, they changed the spot and went to Vaal Monateng Café (VMC)to have fun. Nomvula and her friend were joined by two other friends but later she left the venue with her two friends,” said Chenene.

He added he was told that Nomvula decided to walk home alone. However, she never arrived home. “We are devastated that something bad could have happened to her and we have reached out to the police in Orange Farm, but they seemed not to be interested as they are also not keeping us updated on their investigations. Given the fact that gender-based violence crimes and hate crimes against LGBQTI are on the rise, this is sending shivers down my spine,” said Chenene.

VMC owner Jomo Tsotetsi said that he was concerned and worried like everyone else and prayed that Nomvula would be found and reunited with her family. “We take the safety of our customers seriously and are worried about what might have happened to Nomvula.”

A friend of Nomvula, whom the family claimed was in her company on the day she disappeared refused to speak to Sunday World.

Orange Farm police spokesperson Sergeant Shaan Motsapi said the police had interviewed and taken statements from the three people who were last seen with her. “Anybody who might know her whereabouts should contact the police at MySAPS app or call 08600 10111 or contact the investigation officer Sergeant Seroka on 011 213 8023/8026”.

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