Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Ziegfried Ekron
Die Burger

Gays leave Cape Town

CAPE TOWN — A gay-rights group cancelled its national congress, which would have started on Wednesday, at the last moment after a suspect in the Sea Point massacre allegedly threatened one of its leaders.

Eight sex workers were killed and another two wounded, one critically, during the early hours of Monday morning. They were shot, execution style, in the head and some had their throat slit.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GLA) leader, who has since moved to an undisclosed address and who fears for his life, says a man arrived at his flat on Tuesday evening and insisted that he come outside.

He said security guards who came to his rescue later identified the man as one of the suspects.

"I was busy in my flat when someone suddenly shook the security gate. He said he could see me moving in the flat and that I had to come outside. I was petrified and pressed the panic button that calls the security company.

"They came and took him away. We later reported the incident to the police. When they (the security guards) accompanied me to my car, we saw a Mazda bakkie speed away.

"Police gave a description of the suspects in the Sizzlers murder case to the security officials and they identified the man as one of the suspects," he said.

The GLA said in a statement that all the members of the executive committee had decided to leave the Western Cape.

Meanwhile, police have traced and questioned at least one of the men who were the alleged targets of the attack.

Captain Etienne Terblanche, provincial police spokesperson, said they suspect the murderers were looking for two men, Stephen and Maruan, who worked at the massage parlour before.

He said detectives questioned the man called Maruan twice on Wednesday.

Terblanche emphasised that the two men were not suspects in the case, but could have valuable information that could assist the police in their investigation.

A Dutch tourist, who visited the parlour regularly when he was in the country in the past, said he remembers the two men as troublemakers.

He said Stephen used to be a member of the South African Navy.

Other acquaintances said Stephen was addicted to cocaine. They believe that to be the reason why he and Maruan became involved with Gauteng gangs.

They may have angered someone in Gauteng to such an extent that a murder party was sent to the Cape to kill them.

One of the suspects had the name of a notorious Gauteng gang tattooed on in his right wrist. It is still not clear what the two men did, but apparently it is "something really bad".

The rest of the investigation was still wrapped in secrecy on Wednesday and police did not want to comment on their progress.

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Created: April 12, 2003
Last modified: April 12, 2003
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