Saturday, January 25, 2003

South African Press Association

Massacre: Slain 8 mourned

CAPE TOWN — More than 300 people packed the tiny Holy Redeemer Anglican Church in Sea Point on Saturday to pay their respects to the eight men murdered this week at the Sizzlers gay massage parlour.

The young men were found tied up and shot in the back of the head in a house in Graham Road in the early hours of Monday. Most of them had their throat slit.

Two survivors of the attack are being treated in Groote Schuur Hospital.

Cape Town Mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo said this was a very sad occasion, but it was hoped something good for the community could come from the tragedy.

"I know no words can heal the pain at the moment… but we must make sure that through their death something good can happen in this community."

The best way to remember the young men that died would be to make sure that Sea Point and Green Point were cleaned up from the drugs and crime that have plagued the area, and that they were developed "in a way it was meant to be".

She pledged the city's support, but stressed the responsibility to build a strong community could rest only with the community itself.

The service was organised by the African National Congress, together with the Anglican parish, the Equality Project, the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) and lesbian and gay health organisation, the Triangle Project.

Equality Project spokesperson Evert Knoesen said it was a profoundly sad day.

However, one took heart from the fact that members of the community, from all walks of life, had come out to show their respects.

He expressed concern over the "difficulties" police were facing in their investigation, but pledged the support of the group for the work of the police.

Cape Town police have released the names of six of the victims.

They are Travis Reade (20) of Gauteng, Marius Meyer (21) of Barkly West, Stephanus Fouche (17) of the Free State, Warren Visser (21), Sergio De Castro (22), and Aubrey Eric Otgaar (56), the owner of Sizzlers.

Police investigating the murders have declined to speculate on possible motives.

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Created: April 12, 2003
Last modified: April 12, 2003
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