A gay man and his boyfriend have been attacked by a gang in a suburb north west of Johannesburg.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning in Rosebank after the couple had left a gay-friendly nightclub.

“We had just left a theme party at a club, and wanted to get something to eat. I was dressed as Marilyn Monroe and my boyfriend Gerald Pereira wore an afro wig. We put our wigs in the car and bought food from a vendor on the sidewalk,” Stephan Annandale told the Rosebank Killarney Gazette.

“One asked why I was wearing a dress, and Pereira replied ‘Maybe he likes it’. The men asked if we were gays and we said that we were. Then they started verbally abusing us, calling us ‘fags’,” Mr Annandale added.

Mr Pereira was punched in the face – with one of the attackers scratching the victim’s shoulder and bashing his lip with a ring.

Police in the surrounding area have been accused of ignoring the incident and the victims have lodged a complaint.

In response, Rosebank police spokesperson Sergeant Bongi Mdletshe said: “I can confirm a case of assault was opened, and our detectives hope to make an arrest soon. An internal investigation into the officers will also be undertaken. If it is found they did not perform their duties, they will be charged.”

Johannesburg has become a hotspot for violent homophobic and transphobic crime in South Africa.

A 26-year-old lesbian was found murdered and also sexually mutilated in the city earlier this summer.