Eudy Simelane

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Eudy Simelane
Personal information
Date of birth (1977-03-11)March 11, 1977
Date of death April 28, 2008(2008-04-28) (aged 31)
Place of death KwaThema
Playing position Midfield
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Springs Home Sweepers F.C.
National team
South Africa
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Eudy Simelane (11 March 1977 – 28 April 2008) was a South African footballer who played for the South Africa women's national football team and an LGBT-rights activist. She was raped and murdered in her hometown of KwaThema, Springs, Gauteng.[1]


Simelane played as a midfielder for Springs Home Sweepers F.C.[2] and the South Africa women's national football team. She also coached four teams and was studying to be a referee.[3]


Simelane's partially clothed body was found in a creek in KwaThema. She had been abducted, gang raped, beaten, and stabbed 25 times in the face, chest, and legs. She had been one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian in KwaThema.[1] A report by the international NGO ActionAid, backed by the South African Human Rights Commission, suggested that her murder was a hate crime committed against her because of her sexual orientation.[1]

According to local gay-rights organization Triangle, the practice of "corrective rape" is widespread in South Africa, whereby men rape lesbians purportedly to "cure" them of their sexual orientation.[1]

The trial of four suspected attackers began on 11 February 2009 in Delmas, Mpumalanga.[4] One of the four alleged attackers pled guilty to rape and murder and was sentenced to 32 years' imprisonment.[1] In September 2009, another was convicted of murder, rape, and robbery, and sentenced to life plus 35 years, but the remaining two accused were acquitted.[5]


A miniature bridge was erected in KwaThema, Springs, Gauteng in her honour in 2009.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kelly, Annie (12 March 2009). "Raped and killed for being a lesbian: South Africa ignores 'corrective' attacks". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  2. ^ "Tribute To The Late Former Banyana Banyana Player, Eudy Simelane". Tribute. SAFA. 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  3. ^ "Joburg Pride Wall of Rememberance (sic)". Gay & Lesbian Pride News. 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  4. ^ Nath, Dipika (2009-02-11). "Stop the Violence - Live Updates from South Africa". Human Rights Watch. Archived from the original on 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  5. ^ "Life for killing lesbian activist". News24. 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  6. ^ Khupiso, Victor (2009-04-30). "Eudy Simelane honoured posthumously". The Times (South Africa). Avusa. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30.

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