Targeting Gays and Gender Conformity
Contrary to some reports, none of the teens involved in this story openly identified as gay, though certainly they were perceived that way.
Melanie Nathan, an international human rights advocate known for her LGBTQI asylum work and her fight against corrective rape in South Africa, has suggested in her continuing coverage of this story the case may amount to a hate crime based on a potentially lethal prejudice such groups hold against gay people.
The so-called Iron Guards’ philosophy, Nathan notes, includes a staunch view of gender boundaries where effeminacy and being gay are thought of as synonyms, and for that reason both are not tolerated.
As Nathan explains, there is an interest now in seeing how deep this particular thread of the story runs as the case continues to unfold, to see if it can be established that Iron Guard-affiliated groups are willfully harming gay, or perceived to be gay, teenagers.
Camp Leader Claims a Conspiracy is Afoot
Mr. de Koker has said that the charges against him are part of a conspiracy. He also disputes Wilma Buys’ version of events.
A statement released by de Koker’s X-Military Leaders in 2011, a copy of which can be found here at post 130, alleges that Raymond Buys was “cast away due to his rebellious nature,” by his mother and her boyfriend and that they were willing “to pay thousands of rand just to be rid of him.”
It also suggests that camp officials attempted to talk with Wilma Buys about her son’s so-called “behavioral defects,” but they were unsuccessful. The statement goes on to make a number of claims that the authorities have an ulterior motive for arresting de Koker and that the criminal investigation has been biased and has ignored facts — though no evidence for this is provided.
As to Raymond’s injuries, the 2011 statement mentioned above alleges that “The young man [Raymond Buys] had a Stroke [sic] under the supervision of the Leader who actually rushed him to hospital.”
This would in no way account for Buys’ incredibly poor and emaciated condition, his broken arm or burn wounds, and such claims did not appear to mollify the court during the 2011 bail hearing in this case. It is unlikely to do so now.
Both Mr. de Koker and Mr. Erasmus have pled not guilty to the charges.
Unanswered Questions in the Raymond Buys Case
The Raymond Buys murder trial has been suspended until later in May and Mr. de Koker and Mr. Erasmus remain in custody. A number of unanswered questions remain, however, including why de Koker’s sentence in the Calinz case was so lenient, why the van der Walt case was ruled a natural death despite evidence of foul play, and crucially, why Alex de Koker was allowed to keep running his camps even when police seemed to suspect they were little more than white supremacist training groups.
And last, the largest question of them all, whether Raymond Buy’s life could have been saved had action been taken sooner.
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