By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com January 22 2003 12:00 AM ET
An execution-style attack early Monday morning at a Cape Town house used as a gay massage parlor resulted in the deaths of eight men and the wounding of two, police said. Many of those killed had been tied up and shot at close range, said Capt. Etienne Terblanche, a police spokesman. Their throats had also been slit.
Six men died at the scene, and two more died later in the hospital. The two wounded men, who also had been shot in the head, were listed in very serious condition, Terblanche said.
"When we arrived, the injured were crawling around on the floor," Terblanche was quoted as telling the South African Press Association. There was "an incredible amount of blood about."
The rooms of the house, which had been rented out, had been turned into private massage rooms and were decorated with pornographic images.
Leonard Ramatlakane, safety and security minister of the Western Cape province, said it looks like "organized crime was behind this." A police task force has been formed to investigate, he said.
The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project said the attack could have been a hate crime and called on police to work diligently to find the killers.
"We have been very concerned about threats issued by various fringe groups in society over recent months that indicated an intention to perpetrate acts of violence against lesbian and gay people," the organization's director, Evert Knoesen, said in a statement.