Gay television, theatre and film actor Brett Goldin (27) – well known in South Africa’s gay community – has been murdered, along with his friend, fashion product manager Richard Bloom (28), in Cape Town. Their bodies were found by police in the veld near the M5 highway in Rondebosch.

The two men were discovered naked lying face down. They each had a gunshot wound to the back of the head. They were last seen alive shortly before leaving a party hosted by fashion designer Craig Port, just before 12am on Saturday night, in Bloom’s car. It has been speculated that they were hijacked while drawing money from an ATM or just as they left the party.

The first sign that things were amiss was when Goldin did not arrive at his mother’s home for a planned visit the next morning. Earlier that Sunday morning three men who were arrested, according to police on the grounds of “suspicious behaviour”, were found to have Goldin’s credit card in their possession.

Following an interrogation, on Monday morning they led police to the crime scene. Five more suspects have since been arrested in connection with the crime. The motive appears to be robbery at this point, but there has been speculation that attack may have been gang related. Bloom’s car, which had been missing after the attack, has been found along with a pistol inside it – which may have been used in the attack.

Goldin was best known for his role as one of the co-creators of the Crazy Monkey MTV skits, which were broadcast around the world. Last year, the comedy troupe produced a theatrical film version, which was released in South Africa amidst much hype. Goldin was a regular face in TV commercials and series such as Yizo Yizo 3 and Fela’s TV. He appeared in the films Slash and Proteus – the first gay themed South African feature film.

He also wrote and starred in an acclaimed one man show titled Bad Apple. Tonight newspaper reviewer, Anél Powell, wrote about the play – described as a darkly comic look at school brutality – saying that, “His [Goldin] performance will leave an indelible imprint on the minds of local audiences”.

“Brett was an extremely talented guy. He was also one of the most genuine, warm and fun people I know. It’s still unreal and almost absurd that someone with so much potential – so much to give to the rest of us – has been snuffed out so brutally and randomly”, said Mambaonline editor Luiz DeBarros, who was a friend of Goldin.

“We had fun together”, said underground filmmaker Stanimir Stoykov, who knew Goldin well. “When you wanted to be happy you’d phone him. He was completely hungry for life – which is why it’s so terrible. He was one of the best actors that I know, I wanted to work with him,” he added.

Goldin was set to travel to Shakespeare’s home town, Stratford-upon-Avon, in the UK to perform in an upcoming production of Hamlet, which was to be directed by Janet Suzman.

This is the second high-profile murder in the South African entertainment industry and the gay community in little more than a week. Gay television director Ken Kirsten was shot outside his home by presumed robbers on the 10th of April.

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