Alleged gay-bashing in Rosebank

Gerald Pereira shows the scratch on his neck, sustained during an alleged homophobic attack in Rosebank.

ROSEBANK – A Blairgowrie man was allegedly beaten up by a group of men after they hurled homophobic slurs at him and his boyfriend.

11 September, 2.50pm

Rosebank police spokesperson Sergeant Bongi Mdletshe said the station commander had called a meeting with staff to discuss the incident and allegations.

“I can confirm a case of assault was opened, and our detectives hope to make an arrest soon. An internal investigation into the officers will also be undertaken. If it is found they did not perform their duties, they will be charged,” he said.

11 September, 2pm

The incident occurred at the corner of Keyes and Tyrwhitt Avenues in the early hours of Sunday morning, and was allegedly ignored by the Rosebank police.

“We had just left a theme party at a club, and wanted to get something to eat. I was dressed as Marilyn Monroe and my boyfriend Gerald Pereira wore an afro wig. We put our wigs in the car and bought food from a vendor on the sidewalk,” said Stephan Annandale.

He said that as they stood on the sidewalk and ate, a group of between four and six men who appeared to be in their 20s approached them.

“One asked why I was wearing a dress, and Pereira replied ‘Maybe he likes it’. The men asked if we were gays and we said that we were. Then they started verbally abusing us, calling us ‘fags’,” said Annandale.

He said he and Pereira responded angrily, and Pereira told the men to “f*** off”.

One of the men allegedly ran up to Pereira and punched him in his face. He wore a ring which scratched Pereira’s shoulder and then tore open his lip.

Annandale contacted the flying squad and was told a vehicle could only respond in 30 minutes.

“Then a Rosebank police vehicle turned into the street. Pereira ran to it and told the officers what had happened. One of the officers shrugged and they drove up to the men,” he said. “After speaking to the men for a few seconds, they just drove off.”

Annandale and Pereira went to the Morningside Medi-Clinic so that Pereira could be seen by a doctor and then they went back to the Rosebank Police Station to open a case.

“When we spoke to the woman at the desk, she told us she didn’t really care, gave us a form and told us a doctor would need to examine Pereira and complete the form. I asked her to find out who the officers in the vehicle were so that we could lay a complaint. She replied that she didn’t know, as the officers work shifts,” he said.

Annandale and Pereira returned to the hospital where the doctor told them they should have been given a case number when they were given the forms.

“The woman at the station didn’t do that. If the police had helped or taken the details of those men, we might have resolved the matter. They’re getting away with it, and probably think they were right for ‘punishing’ homosexuality and that the police agreed with them,” said Annandale.

“If we can’t rely on the police to help and protect us, then who will help us? I feel helpless, traumatised and hopeless.”

Rosebank police spokesperson Sergeant Bongi Mdletshe was not available for comment.

Graeme Shackleford

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