Transgender Kimberley High School Teen Murdered in Suspected Hate Crime


Karabelo Pudumo, a transgender high school learner who lived with her grandparents, is believed to have been a victim of a hate crime

Karabelo Pudumo, an 18-year-old transgender high school learner from the Northern Cape, was stabbed to death in a suspected hate crime.

Reports indicate that Karabelo was murdered on the 1st of June in Kimberley. It is believed that the teenager was out drinking with friends and several men when one of the men realised that she was transgender.

He allegedly responded by brutally stabbing Karabelo more than 20 times all over her body.

A man has reportedly been arrested in connection with the murder, but MambaOnline has been unable to verify this with the authorities.

Karabelo, who lived with her grandparents who raised her, was a Grade 10 learner at Pescodia High School. Over three hundred children and community members attended a memorial service on Wednesday at the school.

Karabelo’s murder is the second suspected hate crime killing of a transgender individual in the Northern Cape in the past month. On 14 May, the body of 27-year-old Jo-Ann Isaks was found in a burning room in the Upington township of Paballelo. Police confirmed that she had multiple stab wounds on her upper body.

Rise in Hate Crimes Concerning

Shaine Griqua of the Shaine Griqua Advice and Development Centre said the increase in violent hate crimes against members of the LGBTIQ+ community is deeply concerning. He noted that Karabelo’s murder took place as South Africa marked International Pride Month and Youth Month.

“We call on law enforcement agencies to be more visible, available, and supportive towards the LGBTIQA community and their allies,” said Griqua, who helped arrange the teen’s memorial service.

“The government needs to do more to ensure proper implementation of the country’s laws in order to address the increase in violence against people from the LGBTIQA community,” he told MambaOnline.

“Without proper funding to respond to these acts of evil, our hands are tied in some areas of service delivery and we struggle to properly provide other forms of support,” Griqua added.

He said his organisation will provide counselling referrals and support to the family and called for the alleged perpetrator to be denied bail. The Speaker of the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality’s office will assist with an indigent funeral package for Karabelo.

Griqua has urged the community to assist Karabelo’s devastated family, whose only form of income is the grandparents’ pension. If you can offer food donations or other support, please contact 062 299 6061.

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