The seven men are alleged to be linked to other Grindr Gang cases (Photo: Brigadier Athlenda Mathe / Twitter)
Seven men accused of kidnapping and brutally assaulting a Wits university student after targeting him on Grindr will remain behind bars, at least for now.
The men appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court on Monday following their dramatic arrest last month. They have been charged with kidnapping, extortion, and the attempted murder of their 18-year-old victim.
Lawyers for the men asked for the matter to be postponed, asserting that they need more time to consult with their clients. The state, which also sought additional time to pursue its investigation, agreed to the request.
The matter was postponed until October 19 when the accused are expected to formally apply for bail. They were remanded in jail pending the outcome of the application.
MambaOnline understands that the condition of the student, who was left in critical condition in the hospital as a result of the attack, is improving.
Arrest and Ransom
Police apprehended the seven suspects on September 20 in Denver, Johannesburg, after the victim was reported missing by his roommate the day before.
It’s alleged that the men lured the student to a meeting through the Grindr dating and then demanded a R30,000 ransom from his family.
Their capture occurred when one of the criminals attempted to withdraw the ransom money from an ATM.
He then led the authorities to the Denver Men’s Hostel, where they found the victim bound and unconscious. Six more suspects were arrested, and the student was rushed to the hospital.
For several years, numerous queer men, primarily in Johannesburg but also in Cape Town, have fallen victim to criminals via dating apps like Grindr.
Police have cautioned that they believe that multiple groups of criminals are targeting LGBTQ+ individuals through dating apps and that there is no one “Grindr Gang.”
A South African security company, Vision Tactical, recently called for a ban on Grindr in order to safeguard members of the LGBTQ+ community against violence and exploitation.