Amid the recent spate of brutal unsolved murders of gay men in Gauteng, a gay man from Bloemfontein has gone missing after he travelled to Johannesburg to meet an online date.
According to Thebe Mogamisi’s family, he met a man known only as Sipho online last year and exchanged pictures and contact details over the space of a few months.
Mogamisi, who was living with his aunt Dikeledi Mokatong in Bloemfontein, agreed to meet Sipho in Johannesburg and travelled to Gauteng on the 23rd of November, where he stayed with family.
He was last heard from on New Year’s Eve when he phoned his aunt, saying he was excited to be finally meeting Sipho. Since then, neither friends nor family have heard from Mogamisi.
According to The Star’s Shain Germaner, who is investigating the disappearance, Mogamisi’s Facebook profile is inactive and his phone goes straight to voice mail.
“I can’t sleep at night I’m so worried. Thebe is not the kind of person who would stay quiet for so long,” Mokatong told Germaner.
Anyone who has seen Thebe Mogamisi recently has been asked to contact Shain.Germaner@inl.co.za or the Park Road police station in Bloemfontein on (051) 507 6000
The latest murder in the recent spate of killing of gay men in Gauteng was of 39-year-old HIV/Aids activist and television presenter Jason Wessenaar, who was stabbed in the neck seven times in his Pretoria West home on 18 December 2011.
The murder spree began with Manolis Veloudos, who was killed in April 2010. He was followed by Jim Cathels in Berea in December 2010, Oscar O’Hara (33) in May 2011, a 47-year-old un-named landlord in Northcliff in August 2011, Siphiwe Selby Nhlapo (36) in Soweto in September 2011, and Barney van Heerden (39) in Orange Grove, also in September 2011.
It is believed that at least some, if not all, of these men may have met their killers through online dating sites or cellphone chat rooms.