S. African Gets Life in Rape, Killing of Lesbian Soccer Star

Lesbians targeted by rapists who aim to 'correct' them, say activists
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2009 3:54 AM CDT
Three men accused of the murder of South African soccer player Eudy Simelane sit in court during their trial in Mpumalanga, South Africa.    (AFP/Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A South African man has been sentenced to life for his part in the gang-rape and murder of one of the country's leading female soccer players, the Independent reports. Eudy Simelane, 31, who played for the national team, was raped repeatedly and stabbed 12 times before being dumped in a river. Simelane, the first open lesbian in her township, had hoped to serve as an official in next year's World Cup.

"Eudy Simelane suffered a brutal, undignified death," the judge told the court. Two other men were acquitted due to lack of evidence. "God will be their judge," the judge said. The court decided that Simelane's sexuality wasn't a factor in the crime, but activists have used the case to raise awareness of the widespread targeting of lesbians by rapists seeking to "correct" them.
(Read more rape stories.)