Cape Town – An openly gay man who was attacked by a stranger armed with a brick has gone public about the incident in a bid to help police make an arrest and to protect others from becoming potential victims of a hate crime.
The 50-year-old man, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons and to avoid being victimised, still has fresh scars on his head after the attack on January 15 just after 5pm in Victoria Street in Woodstock, Cape Town.
The victim, who is in possession of the CCTV footage of the attack, said he shared it with the police in the hope that an arrest could be made, but the attacker’s face was concealed by a peak cap.
LGBTQIA+ activists have slammed the latest attack, calling for persons not to be judged or attacked due to their sexual orientation.
The victim told Weekend Argus he is known in the Woodstock community for being openly gay, and is married.
He described in horror how he had nearly lost consciousness in the attack.
“I was wearing my headphones which are quite big, and walking home after running a few errands,” he said.
“The next minute, I felt a warm and fuzzy feeling at the back of my head and I thought my headphones were broken.”
On closer inspection, with the assistance of a witness, he realised a brick had been hurled at him.
“I was bleeding and I felt like I was going to faint but I immediately rushed home,” he said.
“A woman at the bus stop where it happened said she saw the attack and I found the brick on the scene which I took as part of the evidence. When I got home, I realised there was a cut at the back of my head.”
He indicated that police have been unable to trace the attacker who fled the scene, and that he lives in fear.
“I opened a case with police but when I provided the footage, they said I must identify the perpetrator, but I don’t know him,” he said. “I am so nervous and stressed that I hardly want to leave home, thinking he can attack me again or harm others.”
He believes the incident is homophobic: “I do not know him, he is a stranger to me. The whole incident was premeditated. I can only see that as
the motive of it being homophobic as I’m openly gay and very flamboyant.
“My worry now is that he can harm someone else.”
The footage,1.34 minutes long, shows the victim is walking down the main road, and while standing at the bus stop, the attacker comes towards him with the brick and flings it at him.
It also shows that the attacker first followed him.
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, said they could not identify the attacker due to the video quality.
“The mentioned case number is an assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm case registered at Woodstock SAPS for investigation,” he said.
“According to the complainant, 50, the incident occurred on January 15 about 5.05pm in Victoria Road and Victoria Walk, Woodstock, where he was thrown with a brick to his head. When he turn around he saw an unknown white male stand at the bus stop, but cannot say if he is the suspect. The victim sustained an open wound to his head. The investigator viewed the footage with the complainant, but no one can be identified on it. The investigation is ongoing.”
Siya Monakali, of the organisation Ilitha Labantu, called for hate crime attacks to end.
“Ilitha Labantu strongly condemns discrimination of any person on the basis of sexual orientation or gender. There is no place for homophobia in our society and we call for justice following this assault,” he said.