Homophobic murder-toll mounts in S.A.
1 March 2012 Leave a comment
23 murders due to homophobic hate-crimes were logged in South Africa on Farmitracker thus far: fifteen black lesbians were murdered in Khayelitsha after gang-rapes failed ‘to re-educate them’; and eight gay men also were murdered in SA’s urban centres: 1 man in Cape Town, 7 in Gauteng.
Four black men were convicted for gang-raping and -killing of a gay woman in Khayelitsha, Cape – however arrests for homophobic murders remain unusual in SA. Only in case, in Cape Town, were arrests made in 2012. And thus far no-one was arrested of homophobic murders of seven gay men in Gauteng dating back to April 2010: in fact investigtions seem to be bungled deliberately and victims’ families treated with ridicule.
Human Rights Watch: ‘victims of homophobic violence are ridiculed, harassed and victimised by SAPS investigators’:
The plight of the homosexual community in South Africa has also moved Human Rights Watch to launch their own investigation, questioning many such crime victims. In a shock report on 6 December 2011, HRW found that the SAPS was feared by the gay community: ‘nearly all the people interviewed by Human Rights Watch said they were reluctant to approach the police for protection or to report crimes. Of the few cases of sexual or physical violence against lesbians that have been prosecuted, the significance of sexual orientation has been acknowledged in only one.
SAPS compounds initial abuse: maltreating the victims with ridicule, harassment and secondary victimisation to the victims:
“In many instances, interviewees said, police did not respond appropriately when interviewees sought justice, or even compounded the initial abuse. Virtually all of those interviewed who tried to report physical or sexual violence to the police faced ridicule, harassment, and secondary victimization by police personnel. Human Rights Watch found discrimination over and above the physical and sexual violence and the lack of redress. Those interviewed said they had been discriminated against in the fields of education and employment and denied services. Lesbians and transgender people who did not follow conventional patterns of dress and appearance and lacked family support were particularly vulnerable to abuse and discrimination. The existing laws and policies on sexual orientation have failed to protect people or provide redress.
The report’s recommendations include separating out the crime-date on sexual violence by homophobic motives:
–To the South African Police Services: separate out crime-data on physical and sexual violence by motive to track incidents of homophobic and transphobic violence.
–To the National Prosecuting Authority: ensure that all cases of sexual and physical violence against women and transgender people come to trial in a timely manner, and that prosecutors make cases involving sexual offenses a priority.
— To the Department of Education: establish monitoring systems to ensure effective implementation of non-discrimination policies, such as a toll free help line for students to report discrimination and verbal, physical, and sexual abuse by teachers and othe
CCTV-footage of murder-victim Masnolis Veloudos with murder-suspect ‘lost’ by investigating police:
After the murder of Masnolis Veloudos, above, in April 2010, the victim’s niece, Evita Veloudos, said “CCTV footage of her uncle with an unknown man on the night of the murder was given to the police, but it was subsequently lost by the investigating officers”.
The victims often are linked to the gay-clubbing scene: and it was also determined that the seven men in Gauteng were all contacted by their killers via social-media networks: writes Shain Germaner, a journalist of The Star: email: email@example.com
Homophobic hate-murders of SA men since April 2010:
On Feb 29 2012 Johannesburg Theatre manager Rulov Senekal, 67 was murdered; on Feb 7 2012 Cape nightclub owner Bruno Bronn, 50 was mutilated beyond recognition; on Jan 2 2012 TV-presenter Jason Wessenaar was murdered; on Sept 1 2011 in Kliptown Soweto openly gay-rights activist Siphiwe Selby Nhlapo, 36, was killed and a week later the next homophobia-victim became Barney van Heerden, 39, murdered in his Orange Grove home on 19 Sept 2011; Manolis Veloudos was murdered on April 2010; Jim Cathels was murdered at his Berea home: four months earlier, Oscar O’Hara, 33, was bound and strangled..
VIDEO TRIBUTE to Barney van Heerden, 39, found naked, tied up, and strangle”d: Orange Grove: 19 September 2011:
On July 6 2011, Afrikaans student Maurice de Jager also survived a vicious ‘gay-bashing’ incident even though there was no indication whatsoever that he was actually gay: the B-com accountancy student was nevertheless brutally beaten up by men who claimed he was;
“We fear that homophobic mass-murderer(s) are targetting the gay community:’
And it’s just the tip of the iceberg: The Star investigation found that these murders had striking similarities:
- — the men were all bound; they were killed in private homes; there was no sign of forced entry; and, in most cases, little or nothing was stolen. To date, the police have insisted that a serial killer is not responsible for the murders and have rejected calls for a single, specialised task team to be appointed to investigate the killings. According to a source connected to the cases, little or no progress has been made in the investigations. The source suggested to “Mambaonline” that the police may well be “indifferent and unmotivated to solve the murders because of the men’s sexual orientation”.
Despite calls for action, the much-vaunted LGBT Hate Crime Task Team, established last year by the Minister of Justice, as well as the National Prosecutor’s Office have been silent on the matter, according to Germainer. “ In September, in a report issued by civil society groups outlining the progress of the Hate Crimes Task Team, activists expressed concern about the “political will” of the government to tackle violence against gay people’… noted Germainer.
Gay rights, health and well-being organisation OUT’s director Dawie Nel told The Star newspaper that the organisation was in discussion with pro bono lawyers in a bid to pressure authorities to act against gay murders. “There is a perception that there is a lack of interest in the cases, in part due to the sexual orientation of the victims,” said Nel. “Added to this, the investigating officers may have limited knowledge or awareness of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and online dating. We fear that someone is preying on gay men, and the authorities appear unwilling to acknowledge this.”?
Could Pretoria hairdresser Alden Smith, 37, also have been targetted by homophobic murderers? Above: Alden Smith, 37, owner Options Hair Design, Brooklyn Pretoria, also was strangled to death in his AudiA3 Dec252010 – however in his case, the underlying homophobic motive may also be blurred by the fact that Smith had exposed the corruption of the Pretoria Metro-police on Carte-Blanche TV before he was murdered.
PRETORIA – Well-known Pretoria hairdressing-salon owner Alden Smith, 37, was strangled to death inside his Audi A3, found parked at the Superspar shop in Menlopark on Christmas Day. He described the Pretoria Metropolitan Police force’s extortion practices and widespread corruption. He also told of being ‘constantly terrorised by the metro-cops for not giving in to their demands for bribes”. An exposé by the Pretoria News also revealed claims of torture, assault, kidnapping, extortion and widespread corruption within the Metro Police force. Hilda Fourie of Beeld wrote that murdered hairdresser Alden Smith had spent Christmas day with his sister Mrs Onica Jakob, 45 and her husband Chris, 35, in Wonderboom. He left around 17:15 in his Audi, which according to police had been stolen a month earlier and recovered by the police. Brig André Wiese, the Brooklyn police station commander who heads the investigation said they don’t exactly know the circumstances of Smith’s death: He was seated on the passenger seat, strangled to death, when a police patrol found him. That same Christmas evening at around 22:30 the alarm had gone off at Smith’s hair salon next to his home and the security company had contacted his sister – who also works at her brother’s salon – because the company was unable to contact Mr Smith. Her husband drove to the salon while Mrs Jakob kept trying from home to contact him on his cellphone. “What we didn’t know was that he was already dead by that time,’ she said. When Mr Jakob stood in front of the salon a police patrol showed up. “I told the police woman that my brother-in-law’s white Audi A3 was stolen and recovered a month ago. She told me that there was an Audi A3 parked at a crime scene and asked her to follow me,’ he said. Mr Jakob was asked to identify his brother’s body at the scene. His wife then joined him there and the couple sat next to Smith’s body until the coroner van showed up to fetch him. “I will never forget the way my brother looked in that car. His glasses were broken and his shoes were stolen from his feet. This destroys everyone’s life.”
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