Joburg Man Beaten In Alleged Gay-Bashing Incident At Grietfest

"What was meant to be a night out with mates turned into a bloody gay bashing."

A 34-year-old Johannesburg man has opened a case of assault after being beaten at Grietfest for allegedly being homosexual.

"My friend and I were just dancing on the dance floor. I don't know at this stage if this guy [the alleged perpetrator] got upset by my friend and I showing affection, but we literally looked at him and then he crushed my nose, and knocked out my teeth." hairstylist Brandon Swanepoel told Huffpost SA.

"What was meant to be a night out with mates turned into a bloody gay bashing."

He was attacked at the weekend and was later hospitalised. Grietfest took place at a container yard in the south of Johannesburg. Swanepoel later posted pictures on Facebook of his injuries.


On Tuesday, he opened a case of assault at the Jeppe police station.

He told HuffPost SA that a group of men dancing close to him became aggressive while he was dancing and being affectionate with his partner.

One of the alleged perpetrators warned Swanepoel not to touch him. Swanepoel responded that he did not and was then assaulted. The hairstylist's cheek bones and nose were broken, and he sustained serious injuries to his face and mouth.

"I feel like my pride has been destroyed," he tearfully said.

"We didn't go there to cause any trouble, we were just having so much fun. But I refuse to change who I am. I will be who I am."

Organisers of the event have launched their own manhunt for the attackers. Pictures from Grietfest were collated, and security was interrogated.

"I saw the pictures, and it is devastating," said Dominique Gawlowski, one of the organiser's of Grietfest.

"You work really hard to create something awesome for people, and then something like this happens and it just ruins everything. We've never had this before, it's a community of people who are fun." she said.

Gawlonski took the incident to heart as a friend of hers died in a similar incident.

"A friend of mine died like this. He died on the spot. These little angry men, like this guy, who was probably really drunk, probably really angry, could've killed him. I don't care what his problems are, but you can't treat people like this. We are going to do everything we can to find these people."

Swanepoel said he needs reconstructive surgery on his face and extensive dental surgery.

Eyethu Security, who were responsible for security on the night, said the incident was not reported to them.

No arrests have been made.


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