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Man Kills Another Man Who Tried to Kiss Him, Gets Off with Anger Management Course

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A group of people from the gay, lesbian and transgender community in South Africa demonstrate outside the Parliament in Cape Town, on May 19, 2012. A gay rights group in the country has criticized the light sentence of a man who admitted killing another man he said tried to kiss him. RODGER BOSCH/AFP/GettyImages

Outrage has followed the words of a judge in South Africa, who said a man who admitted killing another man that tried to kiss him did what any other person in his situation would have.

Graphic designer Nkosinathi Madlala, 27, from Durban, told KwaZulu-Natal High Court he was propositioned by Sduduzo Buthelezi. Madlala had previously designed bumper stickers for Buthelezi.

He said Buthelezi had offered him a lift home and then started touching him.

“I reprimanded him and told him to stop. He continued. He was caressing my left thigh in an upward and downward motion.

GettyImages-144778545 A group of people from the gay, lesbian and transgender community in South Africa demonstrate outside the Parliament in Cape Town, on May 19, 2012. A gay rights group in the country has criticized the light sentence of a man who admitted killing another man he said tried to kiss him. RODGER BOSCH/AFP/GettyImages “He was also touching my beard and caressing my neck. While doing this he was talking, asking me if we could become lovers,” Madlala said in a plea statement read in court, IOL reported.

When they arrived at the drop-off point, Madlala agreed to a drink together. They got back into the car, this time with Madlala as the driver because he was familiar with the area.

“On the way, while I drove, he started touching me. This happened while the car was moving and I could not use my hands to ward him off as I had to concentrate on the road.

“I told him that I was sorry if I had given him the wrong impression. I felt him kissing me on the chin. I pushed him away. He then faced upward and laughed at me. I felt embarrassed and humiliated by his actions and laughter.

“I struck him once on the neck with my left hand. My blow was not specifically directed to his neck.”

After the strike, Buthelezi was unresponsive. Madlala dumped his body near a river in Chatsworth and gave the car to a friend to get rid of.

Prosecutor Danito McDonald said there was no one else to contest the version of events.  But Madlala’s attorney, Nkosingiphile Mlotshwa, said in mitigation that he had pleaded guilty and had taken the court into his confidence.

Madlala was ordered by the judge to do 40 hours of community service and given a suspended sentence. He was also ordered to undertake anger management classes.

IOL reported Judge Shyam Gyanda said Madlala “had reacted in a way that any other person in his situation would have.”

Independent South African media outlet Daily Maverick said the judge’s comments were paraphrased by a court reporter and there is no written record of the sentencing available.

Matthew Clayton, from South African LGBTI rights group The Triangle Project, said his organisation was “appalled” at the sentence and the tone of the judge’s verdict.

“Whether or not the perpetrator’s version of events is truthful, no one should be made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe by an unwanted sexual advance.

“However, we cannot allow the idea to go forward that killing someone in this way should have no consequences and that this is the way a heterosexual man should respond in such a situation,” he told Daily Maverick.

The publication referred to the “gay panic defense” being used, although this does not have any legal status in South Africa.

Lawmakers in New York are looking to make the state the third in the U.S. to ban the controversial defense, after California and Illinois, NBC News previously reported.

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