Nare Mphela had previously made headlines in a case of trans discrimination.
Nare Mphela, a trans activist who had previously won a court battle in a discrimination case, has been found murdered in a rented room in Parkmore, Sekgakgapeng Village, outside Mokopane in South Africa.
In 2017, Nare made headlines in the country after she was awarded 60,000 South African rand from the Limpopo Department of Education after it was found that her school principal had discriminated against her because of her gender identity. The principal was also ordered to go on gender-equality training.
Her body was discovered with multiple stab wounds after locals became concerned with a vehicle parked outside a house with “a bad smell coming out of it” for some time.
Her boyfriend has been taken in for questioning, although no arrests have yet been made.
Police have said they believe the crime could be a hate crime, and may have come from Nare’s activity in campaigning for LGBTQ rights.
Victor Mavhidula, South Africa’s Human Rights Commissioner, paid tribute to Nare, saying: “Working with Nare was very rewarding, even for my office. It is very big loss because Nare was a strong-willed person who was no pushover.
“Her contribution in the community was always visible.”
Authorities have appealed for members of the public with information to come forward.
Earlier this month, Dustin Parker became the first transgender person to be murdered this year in the United States.
The 25-year-old trans man, who worked as a taxi driver, was fatally shot early on New Year’s Day in McAlester, Oklahoma and was found in the driver’s seat at around 6.30am. It has been reported that several gunshots had been fired at the taxi.
Dustin was a founding member of the McAlester chapter of Oklahomans for Equality, an LGBTQ rights group, and leaves behind four children and a wife called Regina.
Last year, 21 trans individuals were murdered in the United States, 20 of them were trans women of colour.