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Another gay man was found bound and suffocated in his home at the weekend after he allowed his killer, or killers, into his apartment.
This follows similar deaths in Joburg and Pretoria during the past two years, when seven gay men were found murdered in their homes with no signs of forced entry and little taken from each crime scene.
Rulov Senekal was discovered dead on Sunday by one of his neighbours, tied up and murdered after inviting two men into his apartment at Rennie House in Braamfontein on Saturday evening.
Management and security in the building said the two men had signed the guestbook, most likely under aliases, to visit Senekal around 5pm.
Just 30 minutes later, the men walked out of the apartment complex, taking very little from the flat besides Senekal’s laptop and a full black plastic bag.
On Sunday, a friend and neighbour of Senekal’s informed security that he wasn’t answering his door. They opened it and discovered his body in the flat, and Hillbrow police were called in.
According to Hillbrow police spokeswoman Sergeant Jenny Pillay, a murder investigation has been opened.
Senekal, a manager at the Joburg Theatre, is one of several gay men murdered in their homes in recent months, with gay rights groups already pressuring the police into performing a more in-depth investigation into the crimes.
Gay rights, health and well-being organisation OUT launched its own campaign last month.
OUT director Dawie Nel expressed his concern at the apparent limited success of the police in investigating the murders and said OUT was in discussion with pro bono lawyers in a bid to pressure the authorities to take action.
“There is a perception that there is a lack of interest in the cases, in part due to the sexual orientation of the victims. Added to this, the investigating officers may have limited knowledge or awareness of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and online dating,” said Nel.
“We fear that someone is preying on gay men, and the authorities appear unwilling to acknowledge this.”
Last year, The Star reported on six similar murders of gay men across Gauteng, all of them found strangled in their homes.
In January, The Star reported on the response to the most recent murder of ex-TV presenter and HIV/Aids activist Jason Wessenaar.
In each of the cases, including that of Wessenaar, the seventh victim, it appeared the men had met their killers either online or through cellphone chat rooms.
The murderer or murderers would then be invited into their victim’s home, killing their host, then fleeing the scene.
It had not been confirmed yesterday whether Senekal had used any online dating services in the past.
* Anyone who knows of any other similar incidents can contact firstname.lastname@example.org - The Star