A gay couple has been homophobically abused, reportedly by two policemen, in a video which has gone viral.
The reported officers bullied and mocked two men they found in the middle of a sexual encounter in a car in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, according to News24.
In the video, the two men, distressed and frantic, try to cover their genitals but are told not to by their abusers.
“Who told you to get dressed?” one of the attackers tells the terrified pair.
So the men sit, fully exposed, while their attackers throw slurs and taunts at them.
One of the men thought to be officers asks his partner to take photos of the couple, before shouting at them again as they try one more time to cover themselves.
The couple desperately apologises, but one of the abusers does not accept this, telling them: “It is a shame what you are doing.
“Men are not supposed to do this”.
One of the men then jokes about arresting the couple, before finally telling them to get dressed and go away.
Thabiso Mogapi, chairperson of Action for Social Justice International, said that his organisation had identified the couple and was helping them with both psychological and legal help.
“They are not coping at all,” he said.
“The one man is a teacher and he is now being mocked by his own pupils and colleagues.
The other man’s family have disowned him.
“They did not know he was gay.”
He said that the men who filmed the video and uploaded it to social media had “ruined and destroyed” the victims’ lives.
If the men responsible were indeed police, Mogapi continued, then the matter should be immediately addressed by the minister of police.
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“There are many poor LGBT people who are treated like this by police everyday and it is not reported,” he added.
Anthony Waldhausen of the Gay and Lesbian Network in Pietermaritzburg said that the video was “despicable” and “upsetting”.
“We want to take it further and we are trying to get hold of the couple so we can help them make statements should they want to open a case,” he added.
Alexandra police spokesperson, Captain Kholeka Mhlongo, said she and the station commander were trying to work out who the alleged officers in the video were.
She said that if the couple did not come forward and open a case against the men who abused them, it would be difficult to investigate.
The captain added that if the abusers were in fact police officers, it was “unacceptable”.
“Police are trained not to discriminate. It is against the law.”
She added that the video was demoralising, calling it “difficult and upsetting to watch”.
It is understood that the couple has not decided whether to open a case or not, as the victims are scared of being identified and abused on a larger scale.