Cape Town - As the case involving the murder of David Olyn, who was killed for being gay, comes to an end, another case – involving the brutal murder of Michael Titus, allegedly also murdered for being gay – will start on Friday.
The Circuit High Court in Ceres will hand down judgment on Christo Oncke on Thursday. He is charged with murdering Olyn, 21, on March 22, 2014.
It is alleged that Oncke, 29, invited three teens who were drinking at a dam in Bella Vista, Ceres, to watch him “kill a moffie”.
Olyn’s body was found at the dam the next day with wire around his neck and burn marks on his body.
It is alleged that the teens watched as Oncke first bashed Olyn in the head with a brick before strangling and burning him.
Meanwhile on Friday a 15-year-old will appear in the Wolseley Magistrate’s Court after the murder of Titus on December 27.
It has been reported that the minor called Titus a “vuil moffie” (dirty gay man) while he was walking past, and when Titus turned to confront the child, someone handed the minor a knife and he allegedly proceeded to stab Titus.
Olyn’s story had sent shockwaves through Ceres’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, activist Wayne van Wyk said on Wednesday.
After Olyn’s murder, Van Wyk and several others founded the Rainbow Angels – an advocacy group that educates and provides counselling to anyone struggling with their sexuality in the area.
Van Wyk said like many small towns, Ceres was no different in its prejudice against gay people.
“David’s murder was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Here (Ceres), like in many other small religious towns, your parents throw you out of the house if you are gay, you get bullied at school, your own community ostracises you, they will even murder you. We started Rainbow Angels for anyone who is going through such issues because of their sexuality. They must know they are not alone,” Van Wyk said.
Olyn was originally from Williston in the Northern Cape and arrived in the Western Cape looking for work.
He first worked at a local supermarket in Wolseley before he was transferred to Ceres. When he was murdered his friends in Ceres did not have any contact details for his family. His employer, Heather Muller, contacted the Williston municipality to ask them to inform Olyn’s family that he had been murdered.
“He was the sweetest, kindest, most patient man I ever knew. He was such a gentleman and never let me even touch a broom in my shop. He would always make sure everything was in pristine condition. I still talk about him all the time,” Muller said.