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Gay attack survivor tells of horror assault

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By SHAUN SMILLIE

Johannesburg - Jaiger* fought for his life. His attacker was armed and possibly the killer linked to the murder of at least eight gay men.

Jaiger survived, but the bloody encounter left him scarred and determined to find justice.

His ordeal began in July when he received a phone call from a man who called himself Ronald. “He was very insistent, and wouldn’t take no for an answer,” said Jaiger.

Ronald claimed that he had obtained Jaiger’s phone number from a friend.

On a Saturday in mid-July, Jaiger invited Ronald over to his house.

He sent a taxi to pick him up from Sunny Park shopping centre in Pretoria.

“I knew about the murders, but this time I let my guard down,” he said.

The man Jaiger let into his home was slender, between 30 and 32 years and had traditional ritual scarring on his face.

Jaiger said he had a bad feeling about Ronald from the start.

He had met men before on social network sites and brought them to his house. This time, something didn’t seem right.

“Something seemed off,” recalled Jaiger on Thursday. The two men chatted for a while, then had sex.

After a while, Ronald got up and went to the bathroom. “Again, I had a cold chill. It was then that I opened the door to the outside,” he said. “He came back and sat on the bed. His hand caught my eye as it moved slowly to his bag,” said Jaiger.

Suddenly, Ronald was on top of him with a gun in his hand.

Jaiger said he had tried to reason with him, but his attacker told him he was doing this because Jaiger had slept with his brother. Jaiger said it didn’t make sense.

Ronald pulled out a roll of duct tape from his bag and tried to tape Jaiger’s hands and mouth.

“I realised if he duct-taped me, I couldn’t do anything and I realised I needed to fight.”

The two men grappled for the gun. Jaiger got the better of the man.

He pointed the gun at Ronald and pulled the trigger, but it was on safety. He threw the gun to the side.

Ronald bit Jaiger on his cheek, then on the neck. Jaiger believes he was trying to sever his jugular vein.

Ronald started throttling Jaiger, and he passed out.

During the fight, Jaiger passed out four times. Every time he came to, Ronald would throttle him again.

The last time Jaiger came to, he found himself lying in the doorway in a pool of blood. Ronald was leaving the house with his bag filled with money, his cellphone and laptop.

Jaiger said he never went to the police to report the incident because he felt ashamed and guilty, and because of his job.

Now he feels that he needs to contact the police after he heard about the arrest of three men for the murder of murder of Barney van Heerden last year.

 

Maxwell Nyathi, Mthokozisi Ndlovu and Bheki Maseko appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Their case was postponed.

After hearing of Jaiger’s attack, police spokesman Colonel Neville Malila said investigators are urging him to come forward.

* Not his real name

shaun.smillie@inl.co.za

The Star

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