Gay murder investigation 'sluggish'

The family of a murdered gay man says the investigation into his death is taking too long.

Victims of the 'Gay Murder Gang' Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The family of a man murdered by what is believed to be a gang targeting gay men in the country on Tuesday said they were concerned about the speed of the police's investigation.

Barney van Heerden was found bound and strangled in his home in Orange Grove in September 2011.

His alleged killers are said to have gained his trust and gotten him to invite them to his home.

Three men have been arrested for the crime, and are believed to be linked to a series of murders in Gauteng and Cape Town.

But since the arrests in November, police have not made any other arrests.

Van Heerden's sister, Anchen Jooste, said the investigation into her brother's death was taking far too long, with forensics reports only being completed recently.

"I have not heard a single word from the investigating officer, and I'm very disappointed because they don't seem to be seriously investigating the case."

Jooste said she was worried there would be more murders unless the gang was stopped.

"There will definitely be other victims. Barney's death cannot be for nothing. This has to stop now before more people are murdered."


The court case involving the three accused appears to be on its way to the South Gauteng High Court.

The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday heard that the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has ordered the investigation to be fast-tracked.

Investigating officers have been asked to provide the last few pieces of evidence so a trial date could be set.

Authorities believe the gang operates across the country.


Meanwhile, Gay rights group OUT says it is going to publish the pictures of the three suspects to try and find other possible victims.

Pictures of the men have been circulating in the media, but OUT plans to send the images across its networks to find out if they could be linked to unsolved crimes.

OUT's director Dawie Nel said it was important to publicise the pictures with the hope that "people could know the accused or know something about the unsolved gay murders.