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Police: Gang slaying gay men in South African province

South African police claim that a gang is responsible for the serial slaying of at least eight gay men in Gauteng province since 2010.

Authorities in Gauteng said they had identified a common suspect in four cases and believe a gang is responsible for all the killings, according to the Star newspaper.

Over the weekend, authorities arrested three men in connection with the death of Barney van Herdeen more than a year ago.

Major-Gen. Norman Taioe, who leads the detective branch in the Gauteng police department, told the newspaper that a team of detectives was formed to investigate that case and seven others, as well as search for additional suspects.

The killers, according to police, gain the trust of victims to get invited in to their homes. There, the gay men are killed and their property stolen.

The recent arrests prompted authorities to caution men about stranger-danger but until last week, just prior to the first arrests, Taioe had said there was no connection in the killings.

Civil rights groups have said the caution should have come earlier and have been critical about delays in the investigation. The first death occurred in April 2010, followed by six killings in 2011 and one in 2012.

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