Seven men were arrested last week in connection with another Grindr Gang case in Johannesburg (Photo: Brigadier Athlenda Mathe / Twitter)
The Johannesburg student who was kidnapped and assaulted after being lured by criminals through the Grindr dating app is reportedly in a serious condition.
According to Brigadier Brenda Muridili, the 18-year-old victim was subjected to severe beatings, resulting in his hospitalisation.
Muridili told EWN, “It’s attempted murder that police are investigating over and above the kidnapping part, so he was really badly beaten, and he is critical and still in hospital.”
Arrests and Rescue
Last week, police apprehended seven suspects in Denver, Johannesburg, accused of kidnapping the Wits University student on 19 September.
The student was reported missing on the same day by his roommate, and the suspects demanded a R30,000 ransom from his family.
Their capture occurred when one of the criminals attempted to withdraw the ransom money from an ATM.
He then led the authorities to the Denver Men’s Hostel, where they found the victim bound and unconscious. Six more suspects were arrested, and the student was rushed to hospital.
Brigadier Muridili cautioned that the police believe multiple groups of criminals are targeting LGBTQ+ individuals through dating apps and that there is no one “Grindr Gang”.
Urgent Need to Address LGBTQ+ Targeting
In response to the incident, LGBTQ+ student association, Wits Activate, strongly condemned the attack.
“Targeting and kidnapping people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity not only causes physical or psychological harm but also perpetuates a culture of silence and fear. These atrocities constitute gross violations of human rights and must be condemned and prosecuted,” said Chairperson Justin Yawe.
The group called upon society as a whole, law enforcement agencies, civil society, institutions of higher education, and the government to unite against these crimes.
They emphasised the importance of promoting and nurturing an inclusive society where individuals do not have to live in fear due to their identity.