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A lesbian teen is dead after being raped and strangled by a 24-year-old man in South Africa. Gay Star News reports that 18-year-old Gift Makau was found dead in Ventersdorp on Friday, August 15. She had been raped and stranged with a wire and shoelace, and found with a running hose forced into her mouth.

Her cousin, Lucky Gaorongwe, told the South Africa Times that Makau "had never been abused or heckled in the community," adding, "She was a cool girl who was never violent. She enjoyed playing and refereeing soccer games in the neighborhood."

Her family, who knew she was a lesbian and supported her, were devastated at the death of the youngest of their three children. Makau was to be buried on Saturday.

"Her mother is not coping at all, but we're trying -- and people have been supportive," said Gaorongwe. 

Gay Star News said that a 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the rape and murder, and was set to appear before the Ventersdorp Magistrates' Court on August 18.

News 24 reports that it appears to be another case of so-called "corrective rape." 

"These heinous crimes have to end," said Jabu Pereira, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex human rights organization Iranti-org.

Pereira told News24 there had been a confirmed case of a lesbian in Cape Town being pushed in front of a train by another woman. It was unclear why she had been pushed.

About 30 lesbians have been attacked and murdered because of their sexuality over the past 15 years, according to reports.

From our media partner EDGE