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ESSET’s Gender-Based Violence Workshop 2015

November 2015. On the 18 and 19 November 2015, at Soweto Zola, Extension 1, ESSET had a workshop on Gender-Based Violence. The workshop was held with a youth group that has a community-driven development programme. The workshop was to raise awareness about causes and factors influencing gender-based violence. The workshop also created a space for young voices to get talking about issues of patriarchy, culture, socialisation, and religion.

ESSET’s Gender-Based Violence Workshop 2015

Click here to view the photogallery of the
mass action.


Thembelihle Sokhela ~ A story of rage and disappointment by the justice system

November 2015. On Wednesday 30 July 2015 at the Pretoria North Magistrates Court, Judge Mokgosi sentenced Thembelihle Sokhela’s rapist and murderer, Thabo Molefe (46) to 22 years in jail. However, the LGBTI community feels justice has failed them. “It is unbelievable how the judge read out Thabo Molefe’s previous convictions, which include him raping two minor boys. One would think that he would get life imprisonment. This is beyond failure and sadness,” said Matshididso Mofokeng, a spokesperson for an LGBTI CBO in Vosloorus, expressing her rage and disappointment about the justice system.


Thembelihle Sokhela (28) was found wrapped in a blanket two days after after she was reported missing, behind Thabo Molefe’s bed. From the outset, the case has been shameful. Poor police investigation by SAPS, including the abandonment of evidence from the murder scene. There have also been multiple postponements to the courtcase due to incomplete investigations and incompetency by the Daveyton SAPS in handling LGBTI cases. In 2012, Patricia Mashego, a lesbian mother was found murdered in her own house, to date the case has not yet made it to court. 

Thembihle Sokhela gallery

Click here to view the photogallery of the
mass action.


Disebo Makau, a 24 year old lesbian’s lifeless body found half naked in her neighbour's Yard

November 2015. On 15 August 2015, Makau’s lifeless body was discovered in a neighbour’s yard. She was found half naked, with a hose pipe forced down her throat and a wire around her neck. Iranti-org, a queer human rights and visual media organisation based in Johannesburg, together with North West LGBTI community-based organisations, organized mass actions in front of the Ventersdorp Magistrates Court. The mass actions were to raise awareness on issues faced by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. The community has to deal with murder threats, ‘corrective’ rapes and discrimination on all societal levels on a daily basis. Activists gathered from all over the North West province to support Makau’s family during this difficult time.

Disebo Makau mass action in North West at the Ventersdorp Magistrates Court
Click here to view the photogallery of the mass action.


The Informal Trading Sector in SADC: Legal, Policy and Programmatic Support

A Desk Study by the Ecumenical Service for Socio-Economic Transformation (ESSET)

November 2015. ESSET’s view is that the active participation of women informal traders must provide the voice and compass to inform programmatic support in the sector. It must also be noted that the sector is not heterogeneous and particular circumstances should be looked at on a case by case basis. Download the report here.

ESSET The Informal Trading Sector in SADC: Legal, Policy and Programmatic Support



Justice fails the LGBTI community


Thabo Molefe gets a slap on the wrist for raping and murdering
Thembelihle Sokela


By Legoete Kokeletso


Thabo Molefe, who raped and murdered Thembelihle Sokela


Thabo Molefe in tears, after being found guilty for raping and killing Thembelihel Sokhela.
Photo by Kokeletso Legoete


On Wednesday 30 July 2015 at the Pretoria North Magistrate’s court, Judge Mokgosi sentenced Thembelihle Sokhela’s rapist and murderer to 22 years in Jail. Regardless of the other multiple previous convictions under his name,  dated from 1983, for house breaking with intent to steal; malicious damage to properties; assault with intent to harm; indecent assault of two young boys with anal penetration and many others; as well as repeated parole violations, Thabo Molefe is sentenced to 22 years in jail for rape and murder. 


Thembelihle Sokhela, a 28 year old lesbian’s lifeless body was found wrapped in a blanket, in her perpetrator’s bedroom, in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg. She was found on the floor with blood coming out her nostrils, her body already decomposing due to the heat.


Thembelihle’s case, from its onset has proved the failure of the South African Government in addressing hate crime cases. The case had been handled by three investigating officers, yet essential part of the evidence was never included in the docket as well as several postponements in court without valid reasons. Thembelihle’s underwear and boxer short that were found by her aunt later after the police left the crime scene were never included in the case.


According to Thabo’s statement, Thembelihle died early hours of Monday the 15th, however he only reported the incident on the 16th. He spent a night with a lifeless decomposing body in the same house. Thabo claims that he was in a relationship with the deceased.


To date, we do not know for sure, what the deceased was doing in his bedroom; how she got there, why he strangled, raped and killed her; why he dint report the incident immediately as he claims that it was never his intentions to kill her.


“This is madness; I cannot put to words how angry this makes me. The Duduzile Zozo and Disebo Makau cases should have been used as reference in this case. Where is the rapid response team when they are needed? This needs to be appelead” Asks Kokeletso Legoete, Esset’s Gender coordinator.






July 2015

ESSET to host popular assembly

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May 2015

Limpopo community determined to find solutions, fight xenophobia

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