Gay rights activists report another murder in Johannesburg

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Gay rights campaigners in South Africa say a fifth gay murder in Johannesburg suggests there may be a homophobic killer at large.

In the last year, there have been four cases in which gay men were found dead in similar circumstances – bound and strangled in their homes with no sign of a break-in.

Now, the Commission on Gender Equality says it has heard of a fifth case, the Star reports.

Manolis Veloudos was found dead in his home in Greenside in April. He had been bound and killed, although he was bludgeoned with his laptop rather than being strangled.

Like the other victims, he was a user of gay social networks.

Commission spokesman Javu Baloyi told The Star: “Cases of this nature are not taken seriously by the police or the justice department.

“It is our firm belief that the Department of Constitutional Development and Justice has to come to the party in ensuring that the plight of LGBT (and intersexed) people receive the necessary attention and investigation.”

Last month, 39-year-old Barney Van Heerden was found bound and strangled in his Orange Grove home. Security guards found his car gate open and his front door unlocked.

In December 2010, Jim Cathels was found bound and strangled at his home in Berea.

Four months ago, Oscar O’Hara, 33, was found bound and strangled in Kensington, where he was house-sitting for a friend.

On September 11th, a week before Mr Van Heerden’s death, Siphiwe Selby Nhlapo, 36, was found dead in the same way at his home in Kliptown, Soweto. In this incident, the body had acid poured over it.