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Have Serial Gay Killers Struck Again In Capetown?

in SOUTH AFRICA, 11/01/2013

Following the discovery of the body of a 50 year old gay man in Capetown, there is renewed fears that a serial gang targeting gay men may have been responsible.

According to Mamba Online, the body of Graham Collop, 50 was found in his ransacked flat in Plumstead, Capetown. The same incident is reported by Cape Argus.

The reports say that Collop was bound and strangled and there was no sign of forced entry. The same circumstances has been noted in previous murders of gay men in Gauteng over the past two years.

Last year, police arrested three men in connection with the murder of a gay man, Barney Van Heerden who was killed in Orange Grove in September last year.

(READ: Hope For Justice As Suspects Arrested In Gay Murder)

In a statement from the Ministry of Police received by the National Assembly in 2012, police admitted that four of the cases appear to have been committed by the same perpetrator.

The admission comes after Gauteng police were adamant there were no connections between any of the eight murders last year.

In December, Maxwell Nyathi, Mthokozisi Ndlovu and Themba Maseko appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates' Court in connection with the murder of Orange Grove resident, Barney van Heerden.

Van Heerden (39) was found dead in his home in September last year. He had been tied up and appeared to have been strangled. There was no sign of forced entry.

(READ: It Is A Serial Killer Targeting Gay Men, Police Admit)

However, their case was postponed as police are still investigating the men's possible connection to seven other murders in Gauteng. The authorities have also not ruled out that other members of the alleged gang might still be active, reports Mamba Online

Police believe that, at least in some of the cases, the criminals may have used chat rooms or online dating services to target their gay victims.

They have warned gay men nationally to be wary of whom they allow into their homes as, despite the arrests, other suspects may continue to target them.

*Thabiso Xulu is a South African based LGBT activist and writer; he is also a regular contributor to Identity Kenya

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