Identikits stall probe into Sizzlers massacre

By Time of article published Jan 24, 2003

Share this article:

By Peter Dickson and Lindiz Van Zilla

Police, inundated with leads from Cape Town's gay community, have identified two more of the victims of Monday morning's Sizzlers male massage parlour massacre in Sea Point.

Captain Etienne Terblanche released the names of victims Warren Visser and Stephanus Fouche, formally identified by relatives at the Salt River state mortuary on Thursday afternoon.

Terblanche also said: "We have got a lot of leads that we are following up (but) this case has proved very difficult, so we won't speak much".

Terblanche said the confidential information hotline, set up by the provincial government-appointed special investigation task team, had been flooded with calls.

Detectives have not yet been able to compile identikits of the suspects, believed to be four white men driving a white Gauteng-registered BMW who had apparently been cruising Sea Point on Saturday in search of two "rent boys" known on the street as "Stephen" and "Maroewaan".

Terblanche said the killings could be drug-related: "The gay community has been very vocal about this and... very forthcoming with information.

"But it has proved to be a very difficult investigation, as everyone suspects the next guy. There has been a lot of speculation."

The two latest names are in addition to those of Sizzlers owner Aubrey John "Eric" Otgaar, 56, buried in Kraaifontein on Thursday, and staff members Travis Reade, 20, Marius Meyer, 21, and Sergio de Castro, 22, originally from Gauteng.

The attack left eight men dead and two critically wounded in hospital.

One of the two, at first thought to be a Sizzlers staff member, is believed to have been a client. He is on a life-support machine and the prognosis for his recovery is not good.

The man is believed to be a former Cape Town resident who emigrated to the UK several years ago. He returned during the festive season, apparently to see if he wanted to return permanently.

Abé Bush, an 18-year-old former Sizzlers employee, attended Otgaar's funeral. Bush said he had left the gay massage parlour about three months ago after repeated run-ins with fellow staffers over drugs.

He said that, with Otgaar's help, he had fought a desperate battle to keep hard drugs out of 7 Graham Street.

"I helped him to fight against that," Bush said.

"And Eric always stood up for me when the rest of the boys were against me over the drugs thing."

Bush said the young men used to walk to Sea Point Main Road to buy their drugs.

"The dealers never came to the house."

Asked who might have killed the eight and why, he said: "Maybe it was a grudge or possibly jealousy."

His mother, Elsie Bush, said: "The dear Lord saved Abé's life and gave him a second chance."

- It has also emerged that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GLA), which called off its fifth national congress that was to start in Cape Town yesterday, had immediately flown its leaders out of the city and ordered a communications blackout after shaken party president, Juan-Duval Uys, was "visited" by a known criminal only hours after the massacre.

"The leader had a visit from a threatening intruder who tried to gain access to his accommodation," GLA executive member David Baxter said.

"The security guards removed the man, who the leader later identified from a batch of photographs shown to him by the flying squad."

Baxter said the GLA national executive board had then held a telephone conference at which it agreed to call off the congress and move Uys to safety.

GLA acting president Joe Chauke said in a statement on Thursday: "The GLA took the responsibility last year to warn Cape Town's zoning department against Sizzlers, which was regarded as a time-bomb waiting to explode.

"The GLA was directly in contact with various officers of the South African Police Service since 2000 regarding the selling of drugs all over Sea Point," Chauke said.

"Previous and current elected DA, NNP and ANC councillors all failed in their duty in preventing a second Hillbrow... happening in Sea Point."

- Meanwhile, the three Maltese poodles that were orphaned by the death of Otgaar have found a home thanks to the Cape Times publicising their plight.

Rochelle Weinreich, a neighbour of Otgaar, said a Sea Point woman had decided to adopt Tina, Lola and Chippie.

Share this article:

Related Articles