Sea Point slaughter 'was revenge killing'

By Johan Schronen Time of article published Jan 21, 2003

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Two male sex workers did "something so bad to someone" it prompted a gang of hitmen hunting for them to kill eight other men in Sea Point, Cape Town police believe.

According to detectives probing the massacre at Sizzlers, a well known gay escort agency and massage parlour, a certain "Stephen and Maruan", former employees, were at the root of the Sea Point slaughter.

They held the key to the identity of the gang that gruesomely murdered most of the staff of Sizzlers, shooting them in the head and cutting their throats.

Police have learnt that four white men travelling in an old white Gauteng-registered "box-shape" BMW have been cruising gay red light areas in Sea Point frantically looking for the two men.

Detectives have established Stephen and Maruan had recently worked for Sizzlers before moving to Johannesburg, where they apparently crossed swords with powerful underworld figures and fled back to Cape Town.

Organised crime detective Gavin Brink said the killers believed that the men had returned to work for Sizzlers again and that its staff knew where the men were.

"The stop-at-nothing gang bound their victims with duct tape and ordered them to lie face-down on the floor next to the bunk beds in their shared bedroom," Brink said.

The gunmen were apparently unable to extract from their victims their prey's whereabouts and shot everyone in the head, also slitting their throats with a carpet knife before leaving them for dead.

One of the badly wounded men, known only as Quinton, used his last remaining strength to undo the tape and stumble to a nearby garage, where he raised the alarm.

When police arrived they found six men, including the owner of the business, known as Eric, dead.

Three men were still alive when they were taken to Groote Schuur Hospital, but two died hours later.

The third man's condition was described as critical.

"Quinton", who had been taken to Somerset Hospital, was serious but stable.

One suspect was described as a man with reddish, bleached hair and a goatee beard. Police have released sketches of two of his tattoos, a coiled snake on his left shoulder and the words "Fast Guns" on his right wrist.

A second suspect was described as "a thin white male" who often sniffed - a sign of cocaine use.

The third was tall and well-built, with a shaven head.

The fourth was also described as well-built.

Fast Guns is a notorious gang in Gauteng which apparently has close links with the Cape Town underworld.

Brink said: "Stephen and Maruan did something so bad, so horrible - we don't know what it was - that it incensed someone enough to want to kill them."

Police are trying to establish the identity of the dead men because many chose "industry names" to remain anonymous.

Agency bosses and male prostitutes in Sea Point told the Cape Argus last night that sex workers "come and go", hopping from club to club.

Talking to male sex workers on the Sea Point and Green Point beachfront last night it became clear they lived "on the edge" and that drugs were a "must-have survival tool".

Anthony (not his real name), 27, said he knew Stephen and Maruan. "We're in the lion's den of work, walking the streets and exposing ourselves to men who may be evil and want to harm us," he said.

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