Do you recognise these men? The three accused in the murder of  Barney van Heerden.

Following their appearance in court yesterday, Mambaonline has obtained pictures of the three men accused of murdering Orange Grove resident Barney van Heerden and suspected of being part of the gay murder gang.

Eye Witness News reported that Maxwell Nyathi, Mthokozisi Ndlovu and Themba Maseko, who were arrested in November, appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday in connection with van Heerden’s murder in September 2011.

Prosecutors asked that the case be postponed once again as they are still compiling evidence. It is believed that the trial could also be moved to the South Gauteng High Court where it could be dealt with more efficiently.

At the hearing, the court was told that the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions had ordered the investigation to be fast-tracked.

Anyone who recognises the men in the pictures and who might have information about any incidents involving them is urged to contact Dawie Nel at OUT in Pretoria on 012 430 3272 or via

Van Heerden (39) was found tied up in his home and appeared to have been strangled. There was no sign of forced entry.

There are suspicions that the three accused were involved in at least some of the other similar attacks on gay men in Gauteng over the last two years.

Earlier this month, the body of 50-year-old Graham Collop was found in his ransacked flat in Cape Town. He had been bound and strangled and there was no sign of forced entry; circumstances similar to those of the Gauteng murders.

Police say that a gang operating nationally may be behind the killings.

Van Heerden’s sister Anchen Jooste told Eye Witness News that she is concerned that others could fall prey to members of the alleged gang who may still be on the loose.

“There will definitely be other victims. Barney’s death cannot be for nothing. This has to stop now before more people are murdered,” she said.

Gay men have been warned to be vigilant about meeting strangers online and on dating apps and letting them into their home.

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