Cape Argus

Group fears ‘gay’ mur­der was com­mit­ted by Joburg gang

- Natasha Prince STAFF RE­PORTER natasha.prince@inl.co.za South Africa News · Crime · Incidents · LGBT Rights · LGBT · Society · Cape Town · Plumstead

A GAY rights group has raised con­cerns that a gang al­legedly tar­get­ing ho­mo­sex­ual men in Joburg may have started op­er­at­ing in Cape Town.

The re­cent death of Plum­stead res­i­dent Gra­ham Col­lop rang alarm bells for Dawie Nel, di­rec­tor of the rights group OUT.

Nel said a sim­i­lar modus operandi had been used in Col­lop’s death as in eight mur­dered men in Joburg. How­ever, lo­cal po­lice said his case was not linked to the Joburg cases.

Col­lop, 50, was dis­cov­ered at his home on Sun­day night, bound and ap­par­ently stran­gled.

In the Gaut­eng cases, po­lice re­ported that a gang had been tar­get­ing well-off gay men who were tied up and stran­gled, their homes ran­sacked.

It was re­ported that the gang had also been op­er­at­ing out­side Gaut­eng.

Nel said Col­lop’s case was the first he had heard about in Cape Town, but he sus­pected there were also cases in other prov­inces.

“They usu­ally tar­get older men who meet or have met their part­ners on­line, which is why there is of­ten no forced en­try,” he said.

“Very lit­tle is stolen and the ma­jor- ity of the vic­tims have been stran­gled,” he added.

Nel said OUT had been formed to help the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies source in­for­ma­tion that may help in the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

He said po­lice had not acted un­til the DA posed ques­tions about the mur­ders. Shortly there­after, three men were ar­rested in con­nec­tion with one of the Joburg cases.

Pro­vin­cial po­lice spokesman Cap­tain FC Van Wyk said there was no link be­tween Col­lop’s case and any other mur­ders.

He said sus­pects had been iden­ti­fied but had not yet been ar­rested.

“The cause of death must still be de­ter­mined,” he said.

Van Wyk said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was at a sen­si­tive stage, and that no more in­for­ma­tion could be di­vulged at this stage.

The three men ar­rested in the Joburg case – Maxwell Ny­athi, Mthokozisi Ndlovu and Bheki Maseko – ap­peared in the JoburgMag­is­trate’s Court last month, ac­cused of mur­der­ing Or­ange Grove res­i­dent Bar­ney van Heer­den.

Their case was post­poned un­til the end of this month for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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