BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – Authorities' lack of progress in solving the murders of eight gay men has prompted a Pretoria-based queer rights group to become more involved in the investigation.
The murders took place between April 2010 and February this year.
The families of the murdered men and OUT, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender health and well-being group, have contracted a private investigation firm to look into the evidence, having grown impatient with the lack of any arrests. "We have set up teams consisting of members of our organization and families and friends of the victims to maintain pressure on the [South African Police Service] to follow through this investigation and get results," OUT director Dawie Nel told Gay Star News.
On the group's website, Nel notes that the police service formed its own task force in February, but it has yet to make a breakthrough in the cases.
The eight men were murdered in their homes. There were no signs of forced entry, and most of them were strangled, the OUT website states. It also says there is a suspicion that some of the men met their attacker or attackers through online or cellphone dating services.