Another Grindr kidnap thrusts safety of queer people back into the spotlight

todayNovember 14, 2023 189

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Queer activist, Yaya Mavundla, has lashed out at the police for their alleged lack of urgency in rescuing kidnap victim, Mohau Pholo.

Pholo was kidnapped by seven suspects last week through the gay dating app, Grindr.

Videos and pictures of the victim that were allegedly taken by his kidnappers have been widely shared on social media.

The perpetrators allegedly demanded a R50 000 ransom from the victim’s family.

Pholo, who was released yesterday, has since been taken to hospital for observation and has gone back to his mother in Bloemfontein, where he apparently feels safe.

Speaking to YNews, Mavundla accused the police of possibly working with the kidnappers, saying that their behaviour from the onset reemphasised what they have experienced whenever they would alert authorities about such cases.

The queer activist says the people who kidnapped Pholo had tried to force him to say that he was taken by foreigners and not South Africans, a move they possibly thought would help their cause.
Mavundla is urging young queer people to try and stay off the gay dating app Grindr for a while as their safety seems to be currently at stake.
Pholo’s kidnapping and release came on the eve of the court appearance of seven other suspects who are linked to the kidnapping of a Wits student in September, also through Grindr.

The 18-year-old was found unconscious at a hostel in Denver by the police after his roommate reported him missing.

Specialist investigator, Mike Bolhuis, says they’ve received an overwhelming number of cases of young people who are lured and extorted on dating sites.

“We have found that also on these dating sites, the false identities and information theft is enormous. The social media world out there is a dangerous world.”

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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