Gay Man Stabbed in Horrific Dating App Attack


A 28-year-old gay man in Johannesburg has recounted how he was lured to meet a potential love interest via a dating app before being beaten, robbed, and stabbed in the stomach by criminals.

The survivor, Bongani (not his real name as he is not out to his family), is currently unemployed and staying at an LGBTIQ+ safe house.

In his first time using the Surge gay dating app, he met an attractive and charming man who used the name Simpiwe. The two hit it off, chatted and spoke telephonically and in video calls for a week before Bongani agreed to meet in person on 28 April.

On that day, Simpiwe arranged for an Uber to pick up Bongani and bring him to an apartment building in the inner-city suburb of Doornfontein. “He was loving, so caring, it didn’t seem like a hook-up. I didn’t suspect anything, but it was all a lie,” Bongani told MambaOnline.

Today is the Day I’m Dying

After being dropped off outside and waiting for Simpiwe for 15 minutes, Bongani started to become concerned: “I just thought that something was wrong. I was scared, but I ignored the feelings. I didn’t feel okay, but he said, ‘Don’t worry, let’s go’. And we went inside, we went to his room.

“He opened the door, he asked me to go first, and he came behind me. Then four other guys came in and I thought, ‘Today is the day I’m dying’. They took my money, they took my phones, they beat me. They were demanding money and even wanted to throw me out the window. I fought back! They stabbed me but I didn’t feel it [at first],” says Bongani.

“I looked at this guy who I met online and who I came for, and he was so aggressive. I was so shocked because he was such a nice guy on the phone. He was scrolling on my phone, trying to call my contacts asking for money – telling them that if they don’t send money, I’m going to die.

“They made me take off all my clothes and they took a video of me naked. They told me they were supposed to kill me because they didn’t get the money that they wanted. They said, ‘We always get lots of money from gays’.”

Physical and Emotional Scars

After concluding that they couldn’t extort any more funds by holding him captive, the criminals let Bongani go. “I was saved on that day by the grace of God,” he exclaims. “They really wanted to kill me. They told me that if I told anyone what happened or called the police, they would post the [nude] video on my Facebook, on my TikTok, on my WhatsApp.”

Bleeding in the street and in a state of shock, Bongani headed home by foot, around a 20-minute walk. “I was traumatised. I didn’t know what to do. I was just walking – a dead man walking – I wasn’t in my senses”. He was taken to the hospital by his roommate, where he was told that he had serious internal bleeding and needed emergency surgery.

After two weeks in the hospital, Bongani has not only been left with a massive scar from his sternum to his crotch but also considerable emotional trauma. “I’m always scared – I can’t go to town. And I don’t think I’m going to love again. It’s like everyone is going to do this. Someone is going to tell me he loves me but he’s up to no good. That’s what’s in my mind.”

Not Everyone is Aware of Dating App Criminals

Bongani says he was unaware of the dating app attacks that have plagued the LGBTIQ+ community in South Africa for at least a decade. He is planning to open a case with the police in the coming days after he’s secured the required paperwork from the doctor who treated him in the hospital.

“I wish this guy could be caught. Because he is still doing it to other gays who are not aware of this. They don’t know about these kidnappings. I wish I knew or that someone had told me,” he laments.

Bongani advises other queer men using dating apps to take their time in getting to know the people they find online and to first meet them in a public place. “Please be aware, this is really happening, you may not believe it now but once it’s happened to you…”

Criminals Victimising an Already Vulnerable Community

OUT LGBT Well-being expressed its concern and sadness at the news of another violent incident in which a member of the LGBTIQ+ community was targeted through a dating service.

“It is despicable that criminals are exploiting platforms meant to provide safe spaces for queer people to find connection and intimacy, instead using them to victimise an already vulnerable community,” said Sibonelo Ncanana, OUT’s Civil Society Engagement Officer in a statement.

The organisation urged the LGBTIQ+ community to be alert and to take precautions when meeting others through these services. It also encouraged survivors to report any incidents to the relevant platforms and, when safe, to the police. It pointed out that, as was the case in this incident, not everyone in the community is aware of these threats, so it is crucial to highlight and publicise such incidents to increase awareness.

“It is important to note that these attacks are not limited to any one specific dating platform; criminals will use any opportunity to lure victims into a dangerous situation. We call on the authorities to step up their investigations into these criminals and ensure they face the full might of the law,” said Ncanana.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Latest Comments
  1. Marston
    Reply -
    • Jake
      Reply -

Leave a Reply

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

Send this to a friend