The body of Rulov Senekal, a manager of the Joburg Theatre and a one time Artistic Director of the Johannesburg Youth Ballet in the 1990s, was discovered by one of his neighbours on Sunday.
According to a report in the Star newspaper, Senekal was tied up and murdered after inviting two men into his apartment at Rennie House in Braamfontein on Saturday evening.
The report, by journalist Shain Germaner, who has been following the cases of the murdered gay men, said management and security in the apartment building said two men had signed the guestbook “most likely under aliases, to visit Senekal around 5pm.”
According to the report, the two walked out just 30 minutes later taking a full plastic bag and Senekal’s laptop.
According to the Star, Hillbrow police were called in after a friend and neighbour of Senekal’s informed security that he wasn’t answering his door.
A spokeswoman for Hillbrow police Sergeant Jenny Pillay told the Star that a murder investigation has been opened.
Senekal is the eighth gay man found murdered in their homes in the Joburg and Pretoria areas over the past two years. The murder scenes have largely been similar with no signs of forced entry and very little taken from each crime scene.
The so far unsolved murders began with that of Manolis Veloudos killed in April 2010, Jim Cathels of Berea in December 2010, Oscar O’Hara in May 2011, an unnamed Northcliffe man in August 2011, Siphiwe Selby Nhlapo in Soweto September 2011, Barney van Heerden of Orange Grove also September 2011 and in December 2011 HIV/Aids activist and TV personality Jason Wessenaar in Pretoria.
Gay rights groups have been pressuring the police to conduct more in-depth investigations and commentators have spoken about a serial killer but police have dismissed all such talk of a serial killer or killers targeting gay men.
Another similarity in the cases that the Star report commented on was that it appears as if all the murdered men had met their killers online or through cell phone chat rooms. However by the time of the report being filed in the Star, it had not been confirmed whether Senekal had used any online dating services in the past.
The Star reported that after the men made contact, “the murderer or murderers would then be invited into their victim’s home, killing their host and then fleeing the scene.”
The Star newspaper is requesting anyone who knows of any similar incidents to contact firstname.lastname@example.org