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Johannesburg - Rosebank police officers who allegedly ignored a gay-bashing incident outside a nightclub this month are facing charges of defeating the ends of justice because of their conduct.
The officers allegedly drove off after the gay couple who were attacked asked them for help.
Gerald Pereira and his boyfriend, Stephan Annandale, were leaving a transvestite-themed party at Capitol Music nightclub in Rosebank on September 7 when they were accosted.
Annandale had been wearing a dress as part of the party’s theme and the couple were heading to their car when four men approached them.
Pereira said the men had asked why he was with a man in a dress and began badgering the couple.
“Maybe because he likes it, it has nothing to do with you,” Pereira said to the men.
According to Pereira and Annandale, this triggered a wave of homophobic slurs.
One of the men then charged at the couple, allegedly sucker-punched Pereira and continued with a tirade of slurs.
The men had decided to leave, but Pereira noticed a passing police van.
His lip pouring blood onto his shirt, Pereira knocked on the police van window and pointed to the men.
“Those guys just assaulted me,” he said and, according to Pereira, the three officers mumbled that they would help.
“They drove up to the guys, spoke to them for about five seconds and then just drove off.”
Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the officers were identified this week and an internal investigation into their conduct had begun. This will run concurrently with the criminal charge.
The alleged attackers have yet to be arrested.