New developments from South Africa, where an apparent serial killer has been targeting gay men. At least eight gay men have been killed during the two year killing spree around Johannesburg. All were discovered bound and strangled with no signs of forced entry. Several victims had online dating profiles. And at least five of the killed gay men were Black.
When The Star originally reported on the first four deaths in October last year, police said there was no reason to believe there were any links between the crimes. However, four more deaths were uncovered in the intervening months. They each involved gay men murdered in similar ways: all of them were found bound and murdered in their homes.
[Last week] provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said a task team of top detectives would be investigating the eight murders. He did not confirm whether the cases had been officially linked. This development means that if a suspect is caught in connection with one of the cases, DNA evidence and forensic data can be easily compared to determine if the person is responsible for any of the other crimes. The group of detectives will be investigating all the murders instead of eight officers from eight police stations working on eight different cases.
The latest killing was on February 26. Police are searching for two men last seen with 67-year-old Rulov Senekal. Detectives are repotedly reviewing video surveillance footage.
This is not the first time that detectives had video surveillance of the suspect(s). Detectives lost valuable video surveillance footage of another victim, who was seen with an unknown man shortly before his death.
South Africa and Seychelles are the only African nations that protect LGBT rights. SA is also the only African nation to guarantee marriage equality. Despite these protections, the reality is much different for many Black LGBT South Africans. Life in the impoverished townships is far less tolerant. Brutal so-called "corrective rape" and murder are increasing against lesbians in South Africa's townships, as well as rape and attacks against gay men.
In May 2011, the RSA government announced that it would establish a task force to address the escalating incidents of anti-LGBT attacks in its nation.
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