Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Flowers, messages remind of massacre

CAPE TOWN — Bunches of flowers and sealed envelopes jammed into the picket fence of No 7 Graham Rd in Sea Point on Tuesday were grim reminders of the bloody massacre of eight gay sex workers in the early hours of Monday morning.

Everything appeared quiet, and apart from a few passers-by who stared at the house, there was no activity.

Five policemen guarded the house, some drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and reading newspapers.

"We can't tell you anything," one of them told a journalist.

Some notes testified to the loss: "Fanie en Max en vriende" while another read: "Ons inige (sic) meegevoel" (Our deepest sympathies).

In the early morning attack, 10 men were tied up and shot in the head. Some of them had their throats slit.

Six of them were found dead in the house and two more died later in hospital on Monday.

Two victims are still fighting for their lives in Groote Schuur Hopital.

One of them is believed to be Eric, who apparently ran the all-male massage parlour under the name "Sizzlers".

A man in his twenties is in stable condition.

Motives obscured

The search for the killers, meanwhile, continued on Tuesday. Police are keeping mum on wide-ranging speculation about the motive for the attack and the identity of those responsible.

The Cape Times on Tuesday quoted a senior Gauteng police officer as saying that there were links between the Fast Guns gang in Johannesburg and Cape Flats gangs such as the Americans.

The link comes after police reported on Monday that one of the men being sought in connection with the executions sported a "Fast Guns" tattoo on his right hand.

The Gauteng police officer was quoted as saying that through contacts, it was possible for the gang to assist in a hit in Cape Town and vice-versa.

But Western Cape police spokesperson Captain Etienne Terblanche said the information did not come from police sources and that most of it was speculation.

"We stick with the facts and while some of it could be true I don't want to comment on the allegations," he said.

Four suspects

Terblanche said police were still looking for four white men who were seen leaving the crime scene in a white BMW.

One of the suspects has a tattoo of a curled-up snake on his upper left arm, and the words "fast gun" tattooed on his right wrist. His hair was reddish, probably bleached, and he wore a goatee beard.

The second suspect was a thin man with a fair complexion who had a habit of sniffing.

The third suspect was tall and well-built with a shaven head and was possibly a body builder, while the fourth was also described as well-built.

Terblanche said not all the victims of Monday morning's massacre had yet been identified. Many of the victims used aliases.

"We are still trying to trace relatives and friends of the victims and the public who may be able to identify some of the dead are asked to telephone the police at the Cape Town numbers 430-3733, 935-9602 and 082-850-9674," he said.

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Created: January 24, 2003
Last modified: January 24, 2003
CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
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