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City mourns pupil’s brutal death

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The LGBTIQA community has condemned the brutal murder of a Grade 10 transgender pupil who was stabbed multiple times.

A former pupil of Pescodia High School, Dartainion Lucas, and grandmother Wilhelmina Pudumo light a candle at the memorial service. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE LGBTIQA community has condemned the brutal murder of a Grade 10 transgender pupil who was stabbed multiple times.

Eighteen-year-old Karabelo Pudumo’s body was found near his home in Lethabo Park, Roodepan, two weeks ago.

SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Sergio Kock said that two men, aged 18 and 24, met at a tavern in Roodepan on June 1 at about 3am.

“The 24-year-old suspect and the deceased, 18, were allegedly involved in an argument after they went to the suspect’s shanty,” said Kock.

He stated that the deceased allegedly hit the suspect over the head with a bottle and stabbed him in the hand.

“The suspect overpowered him and allegedly stabbed him multiple times. The deceased succumbed to his injuries on the scene.”

Kock added that the suspect was immediately arrested and received medical treatment for his injuries.

“He appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court and the investigation continues,” said Kock.

A memorial service was held at Pescodia High School this week. Picture: Soraya Crowie

During a memorial service for Karabelo that was held at Pescodia High School on Wednesday, activist Shaine Griqua, from the Shaine Griqua Advice and Development Centre, said Karabelo identified as female.

“At the time of the incident, she went out with her friends and they apparently met up with adults who had a problem with her gender identity. Her transgender friend was also attacked and is still in hospital,” said Griqua.

Karabelo Pudumo. Picture: Soraya Crowie

He added that the Shaine Griqua Advice and Development Centre was offering counselling and psycho-social support to the bereaved family, school and Karabelo’s friends,

Griqua said that LGBTIQA youths were vulnerable to bullying, violence and harassment because of their sexual orientation.

“Bullying can lead to physical injury, emotional distress, depression, anxiety and suicide. It is important for parents not to reject LGBTIQA children because they will search for acceptance in places that cannot fill the void and they become susceptible to substance abuse and risky sexual behaviour,” said Griqua.

Family members and friends mourned the death of 18-year-old Karabelo Pudumo at Pescodia High School on Wednesday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Karabelo’s aunt, Mildred Balepile, said he was raised by his grandmother Wilhelmina Pudumo from the age of three following his mother’s death at the age of 20.

“He was an only child and did not deserve to die such an agonising death. The funeral will be held in Roodepan on Friday,” said Balepile.

She added that Karabelo was stabbed 20 times.

“We are angry over what happened and the person responsible for his death should not be granted bail.”

A family member stated that Karabelo would be given an indigent burial as they were unable to raise the money for a private burial.

A former pupil of Pescodia High School, Dartainion Lucas, who organised the memorial service, pointed out that Karabelo’s funeral could only take place two weeks after his death as the family was struggling financially.

“We collected contributions towards the funeral.”

Wilhelmina Pudumo raised her grandson from the age of three following the death of his mother. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Pescodia High School Grade 10 class teacher Eldred Turton stated that Karabelo was an outspoken, yet quiet pupil.

“He was also very flamboyant and a natural performer. He participated in many beauty pageants.”

Turton indicated that the school encouraged gender tolerance and sensitivity to LGBTIQA pupils.

Karabelo’s friends stated that his death was a huge loss.

“We are heartbroken and will miss him tremendously. He had an enormous presence and will live forever in our memories.”

A classmate, Camisha Masinale, added that Karabelo intended to study law when he completed his schooling.

“He wanted to stand up for human rights and justice. We have been left traumatised over the merciless manner in which he was killed. He was robbed of his future plans and dreams and he can never be replaced.”

Friends and family members paid tribute to Grade 10 Pescodia High School pupil Karabelo Pudumo. Picture Soraya Crowie
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