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South Africa: Group of men allegedly beat man, aim anti-gay slurs at him and boyfriend

Police accused of ignoring the incident

Gerald Pereira sustained a split lip in the alleged gaybashing. Credit: mambaonline.com

A group of men allegedly attacked a gay man and targeted him and his boyfriend with homophobic slurs in a Sept 8 incident that was reportedly ignored by the police, Rosebank Killarney Gazette says.

Gerald Pereira and his boyfriend had just left a theme party at a club in a suburb north of Johannesburg when the alleged attack occurred.

“I was dressed as Marilyn Monroe and my boyfriend Gerald Pereira wore an Afro wig. We put our wigs in the car and bought food from a vendor on the sidewalk,” the Gazette quotes Stephan Annandale as saying.

Annandale says about four to six men approached them, one of whom asked why he was wearing a dress. The men also asked Pereira and Annandale if they are gay.

“We said that we were. Then they started verbally abusing us, calling us ‘fags,’” Annandale alleges.

When Pereira told the men to “fuck off,” one of the men allegedly ran up to him and punched him in the face, tearing open his lip, the report says.

Annandale told the Gazette of his and Pereira’s efforts to get assistance from the police at various stages but felt they were being ignored.

In one instance, the Gazette reports, Pereira related what had happened to some police officers in a vehicle that was approaching them, but one of the officers shrugged. The report says the officers drove up to the group of men, but after a brief conversation, they drove off.

Speaking to MambaOnline, Pereira alleges the men were ready to start fighting again, and continued to spew anti-gay slurs at him.

Annandale says it was also difficult to open a case into the incident or file a complaint against the officers who showed up at the scene.

He adds: “If we can’t rely on the police to help and protect us, then who will help us?”

Rosebank police sergeant Bongi Mdletshe told the Gazette that the station commander has called a meeting to discuss the incident and allegations, and that an assault case has been opened.

“Our detectives hope to make an arrest soon. An internal investigation into the officers will also be undertaken. If it is found they did not perform their duties, they will be charged,” the Gazette quotes Mdletshe as saying.