As more killings of Gay men continue to plague the area
By Melanie Nathan, April 18, 2013
Three men, believed to be part of a gang targeting gay men in a series of murders were arrested, charged and now a trial date has been set in the murder of gay man Barney van Heerden, from Norwood, Gauteng. The police have been accused of being inept in their investigation which came close to resulting in their release, according to reports from South Africa.
Van Heerden’s murder in September 2011 was just one of now nine killings across Gauteng that a provincial police task team has been probing – with several connections and similarities revealed between the cases.
Maxwell Nyathi, Mthokozisi Ndlovu and Bheki Maseko appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court today, their case postponed for trial to September 30.
The State asked for more time to acquire blood test results and post-mortem information, but Magistrate Paul du Plessis said that should the investigation not be complete by April 18, he would strike the case from the roll, an announcement that shocked Van Heerden’s family and friends. Fortunately the case is moving forward and then men remain in custody.
However the arrests have not stopped continued killings of gay men in the area and around South Africa. Since these arrests, not limited to just Gauteng, police have announced that members of the gang responsible may have committed similar crimes in Cape Town.
This week another man was murdered in a similar modus operandi targeting gay men in the area. The report on the latest murder and arrest of another suspect today can be found here: READ MORE