After a 2 year delay, three men standing trial accused of the gang rape of young gay man from the Western Cape region of Ceres began, only for the case to be postponed once more.
The alleged rape took place back in 2017, after a young man whose been identified as ‘M’ encountered a group of other men who called him a “moffie naaier”.
The three men who stand accused, Rodney Beukes, Austin Fritz and Peter John Adams face charges of kidnapping and rape.
The Cape Times reports that the three men are believed to part of a notorious gang in the area known as The Ford Boys, whom have terrorised the residents. The accused have all pleaded not guilty to all charges.
‘M’ was finally allowed the chance to testify on Monday, August 12, against his alleged attackers. He was cross-examined, in-camera (without the public present) as he fears for his life. M didn’t want to become the next homosexual murdered in Ceres, following the death of his friend David Olyne in 2014.
M revealed that he was too afraid to lay a charge of rape or report the incident when the attacked first happened. Three months later he was raped for a second time, and that’s when things changed.
The case has been postponed to October 8.
“[M] did an amazing job on the stand and he was amazingly brave,” Triangle Project support services manager Sharon Cox told the newspaper.
“Delays and postponements have a great impact on victims,” said Cox.
“A victim will emotionally, psychologically and physically prepare for trials and when it does not commence on the date set down, the victim has to go through that all again”.
Though the case has been marred with delays, Triangle Project, which has been monitoring the case and supporting the victim, praised the magistrate and the investigating officer.
“We would like to thank Investigating Officer Van Rooy. His work, his commitment to the case and his dedication to his calling, has been so appreciated,” said the organisation on Facebook.
“We also appreciate the new magistrate in the case, who disallowed an extremely inappropriate question. This may seem innocuous but we have seen inappropriate questions being posed by a magistrate, in another case of a similar nature”.