A female soldier who is said to have ‘wept uncontrollably’ at the funeral of a murdered lesbian woman is being harassed by the army.
The soldier, who is reported by the Times of Swaziland to have been an ex-lover of the dead woman Pitseng Vilakati, says since the funeral she is being harassed at work.
She is also being investigated by the Intelligence Department, presumably because he is suspected of being a lesbian.
The media have been exciting themselves over the past few months since Vilakati and her partner Thuli Rudd announced they were to marry in what was believed to have been the first ‘lesbian wedding’ in Swaziland.
Vilakati was found dead last month (December 2009) and her partner Rudd was accused of her murder.
Although she at first admitted committing the murder (possibly after being beaten by police) Rudd has now denied the charge.
The soldier (who understandably wanted to remain anonymous because of the hatred media coverage of homosexuality has been generating in Swaziland) told the Times ever since the funeral, she had been ridiculed by some of her superiors.
‘I have also gathered that I am being investigated by the Intelligence Department. I really do not understand what they want from me as I was mourning someone I loved,” she told the Times, Swaziland’s only independent daily newspaper.
The soldier said her colleagues always mock her when she passed by.
She said at one time, they had gone for a parade and the instructor allegedly said they would leave no stone unturned in this matter as it was tarnishing the name of the force.
She said life is now difficult for her at her workplace as a day does not pass without the superiors saying something regarding this matter.
Since the media, the church and other sections of Swazi society condemned the lesbian couple, international human rights groups have rallied to their defence, calling for greater understanding of homosexuality.
They also want to ensure that Rudd gets a fair trial, fearing that she has already been tried and convicted by public opinion before a hearing has even started.