Transgender activist Yaya Mavundla ends in clinic after attack by armed thugs. Celebrity publicist and transgender activist Yaya Mavundla has fallen victim to a brazen attack and robbery in the upmarket suburb of Houghton.
At the start of International Glaad Transgender Awareness Week, Mavundla (32), popularly known for her involvement in the LGBTIQ+ community and as an events co-ordinator, was involved in a mugging which left her injured.
The week before Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week (between 13 and 19 November) to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues members of the community face.
Speaking to Daily Sun, Mavundla revealed that she was attacked by two unknown armed men on Louis Botha Street approaching Burger King.
“Everything happened so fast. I was with my neighbour when these guys came towards us and took my premium iPhone and money. I don’t really remember the amount,” she said.
Her premium iPhone X, worth over R18 000, and an undisclosed amount of cash, were stolen after a scuffle had transpired.
“My ankle was injured and I was bruised on my hands and knees. I went to Sandton Clinic and I did receive medical attention. I am healing,” she said.
Mavundla has been known to have worked with the likes of renowned photographer Zanele Muholi and Metro FM personality Lerato Kganyago, actress Nandi Mbatha and fashion designer Quiteria Kekana.
Mavundla added that none of the items were retrieved and she had gone to the Norwood police station only to be told that she would need the ITC number of the phone before the case of cellphone theft could be opened.
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Norwood police station communication officer Sergeant Eric Masotsha said the station had no record of the case but did not rule out the possibility that the officer on duty and Mavundla did not understand each other.
“We do not have any record of the case being opened. We do urge that she go back to the station to fill in the ITC form which is used when a cellphone has been stolen. Normally, the form is used to assist with insurance matters. It is possible that they might not have understood each other but the ITC number will help her in tracking down the phone and making sure that it is blocked through the service providers,” Masotsha.
The officer added that the ITC number was a reference to ensure that the cellphone is blacklisted by the cellphone service providers.
For the flamboyant showbiz go-to publicist, crime against transgender people is no foreign concept but Mavundla urges all to be extra vigilant during this time of the year.
“Nothing was retrieved but I received an email from Apple that they tried to switch on the phone. It’s been a year since I’ve been a victim of such. Criminals are criminals, they steal even at a funeral. So behaving like this is really a drop in an ocean for them,” she said.
“With this past week being Transgender Remembrance, I just want to say to people out there, please do better with the community and beyond this week.
Transgender people deserve to be safe, and are deserving of health care, employment, and everything that any other human benefits from,” she said.
In 2018, she was recognised for her work as a trans activist after winning a Socialite of the Year at the Feather Awards.