Weekend of terror: Fears for new Grindr Gang victim


Shocking videos sent to his family show the victim naked, bound and being tortured by Grindr Gang criminals

Activists in Gauteng are scrambling to try to help a missing young man who’s believed to have been kidnapped and tortured for a R50,000 ransom by Grindr Gang criminals.

LGBTIQ+ activist groups on WhatsApp were abuzz this weekend over information that the individual’s family had reported his abduction by unknown men to police on Thursday. According to reports, his captors were threatening to kill him unless his family paid the ransom, which they were unable to pay.

Distressing videos sent to his family from the man’s phone and shared on social media depict the terrified victim bound and naked. One shows the criminals cutting his tongue and genitals. (We have chosen not to name the victim to protect his privacy.)

In a bizarre twist, a person or persons claiming to be the abductors started posting demands for money or “donations” on the victim’s own Facebook page, writing, “If you want to help send money”. The posts went viral, generating hundreds of comments, with some claiming that it was all a scam by the victim.

Responding to people messaging the account, the alleged kidnappers posted: “Whatever you are saying on his inbox as insulting us …. we punish him so be careful how are you talking to us via inbox or comments we are checking everything.” The page has been inactive since around 22.30 on Saturday night.

Several activists, including media personality Yaya Mavundla gathered at the Jeppe Police Station in Johannesburg on Saturday night in a desperate bid to pressure police to take action. Activists expressed frustration that police at the station seemed to lack urgency in helping the young man and assisting his family.

“Why haven’t they updated the family about the progress [in the case] or is it because there hasn’t been any, to begin with,” asked Yaya Mavundla on Sunday morning.

Virginia Magwaza, the founder of Parents, Families and Friends of the South African Queers (PFFSAQ) asserted: “We need the justice system to prioritise this case in any way that they can so that this child is found before he is killed.”

Grindr Gang attacks have plagued the queer community for several years, primarily in cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town. Queer men, seeking connection through dating apps, have fallen victim to violence, threats, and theft.

A recent high-profile case involved a Johannesburg student who was held captive and severely beaten by a group of men he met on Grindr. The alleged perpetrators are facing charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and extortion.

We again urge members of the LGBTIQ+ community to be extremely cautious when using online dating services and apps. When meeting individuals for the first time do so in a public place and always share your location with a friend.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend