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Emotional memorial held for sex worker who died in police custody in Cape Town | News24

Emotional memorial held for sex worker who died in police custody in Cape Town | News24

Gulam Petersen pays respects at the memorial service.

Gulam Petersen pays respects on the memorial service.

  • A memorial service for the intercourse employee and advocate for LGBTQI+ rights, Robyn Montsumi, was held outdoors Mowbray police station.
  • Montsumi was arrested for alleged drug possession and allegedly dedicated suicide whereas in custody.
  • They wish to know what occurred to her as a result of they can not consider she could be so despondent to finish her personal life.

Yellow and white flowers adorned an association of images and tributes to the late Robyn Montsumi who died whereas in police custody in Cape City in April.

Sustaining social distancing and gathering protocols, mates took turns to step ahead to say their ultimate farewell after not having the ability to attend her funeral as a consequence of Covid-19 guidelines.

“There was by no means actually an opportunity to mourn her,” mentioned Megan Lessing, the communications officer for the Intercourse Employees Schooling and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat).

“It was stunning,” she added after Friday’s memorial.

“Individuals had the chance to gentle a candle and discuss her. It was very emotional for lots of them.”

Lessing described Montsumi as anyone who was conscious of her rights, and was additionally educating different intercourse employees and homeless folks about theirs.

She mentioned she was additionally outspoken concerning the controversy over the Metropolis of Cape City’s Strandfontein camp for the homeless, including they may not fathom why Montsumi would finish her personal life whereas in custody because the police claimed.

Lessing mentioned they had been eager for the Impartial Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to complete its investigation into her demise so they may get solutions.


IPID spokesperson Ndileka Cola instructed Information24: “The matter remains to be beneath investigation. This workplace will certainly replace you instantly [when] there are developments on this matter.”

Lessing mentioned they had been eager to get the outcomes of the pathology and toxicology reviews to piece collectively what occurred to Montsumi as they discovered it tough to simply accept she would have ended her personal life.

The reviews may even information the SA Human Rights Fee and Fee for Gender Equality’s investigation into her demise.

Sweat is joined by Sisonke, the Nationwide Motion of Intercourse Employees and Triangle Challenge in  questioning the circumstances of her demise.

Montsumi, 39, was arrested on 9 April on a cost of drug possession.

The organisations have additionally questioned why she was not launched by way of Covid-19 lockdown rules, issued on 31 March, which state bail will be mounted for Schedule 2 offences to keep away from having giant teams of individuals in holding cells.

Her mates had spoken to her outdoors the police station whereas she was in custody as is customized outdoors many holding services which can be inside earshot of a public highway.

On Saturday 11 April, she instructed mates, who had been speaking to her outdoors the police station, she was not feeling nicely and was vomiting.

On Sunday, they went to the police station and noticed an ambulance. They had been instructed Montsumi had hanged herself.

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