Kimberley, as seen over the Big Hole.

Kimberley, as seen over the Big Hole.

Reports have emerged of a gay man being brutally attacked in the Lerato Park housing development in Kimberley, in the Northern Cape, over the weekend.

The Diamond Fields Advertiser said on Monday that the unnamed 20-year-old man was the victim of what is believed to have been a homophobic hate crime.

A neighbour revealed that she woke up in the early hours of Sunday morning to find the neighbouring house on fire. When members of the community began to douse the flames, a man came running out of the burning building.

The man, who was visiting from Schmidtsdrift for the weekend, claimed that he had been attacked by five men who tried to set him on fire.

“He said that five men had raped him because he was a homosexual. They then tried to kill him by setting fire to a mattress, apparently on which they raped him. He managed to escape. Fortunately only his shoes got burned,” the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told the newspaper.

The victim was taken to the police station and then to the hospital where he received medical attention.

Police confirmed that they were investigating cases of both rape and arson. No arrests have been made.

In June 2012, the Northern Cape was the location of an earlier LGBT hate murder. Thapelo Makhutle, a 24-year-old gay/trans individual, had his throat slit, almost decapitating him, in Kuruman. His genitals had been removed and stuffed into his mouth.

South Africa’s LGBT communities continue to face a steady stream of homophobic attacks. A week ago, 21-year-old David Olyn from Ceres was tortured, beaten and set on fire in a horror murder that is believed to have been related to his sexuality.

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