Police in Durban are attempting to link a double murder this week with another slaying two years ago and a circle of men who allegedly used "rent boys" to spice up their drunken parties.
Gordon van Niekerk (23), a former barman at a gay club in the coastal city, appeared in the magistrate's court yesterday in connection with the murders of Danie Robbertze (36) and Annicke Thofte (50) in a rented room on Monday night.
They were both shot in the head.
Robbertze was a close friend of Tony Steenkamp (45), who was stabbed to death in his Durban flat in 2006.
In the wake of this week's murders, police spokesperson Inspector Michael Reade said Steenkamp's murder was being revisited.
He died on the night that he was supplied by Robbertze with another 21-year-old man as a "birthday gift".
Robbertze admitted to arranging for Jody Holloway and Nico Joubert, both 21, to join him and Steenkamp on the night of the murder. He denied, however, that they were "rent boys".
In a newspaper interview at the time, Robbertze said: "These two boys are not rent boys, as everyone is assuming.
"Rent boys require you to pay them for their services.
"I may have brought them to Steenkamp's home, but they were acquaintances."
He added: "It was his birthday and I wanted him to unwind and have some fun. That was my birthday gift to him."
Robbertze claimed that on the night in question, Steenkamp and Holloway went into one bedroom and he and Joubert went into another.
He later heard Steenkamp screaming and begging Holloway not to harm him. He then said he found Steenkamp lying in a pool of blood with stab wounds.
Joubert and Holloway were later arrested.
Joubert was released but Holloway was charged with murder.
He appeared twice in court before the case was provisionally withdrawn because certain people who were due to testify were overseas.
In court yesterday, Van Niekerk was remanded to June 11.
By Fiona Gounden The Star