Gay South African Teens Die After Alleged Abuse At 'Conversion' Camp: Report

Published: April 30, 2013

International lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates are decrying the death of three teenage boys who were allegedly tortured to death at a so-called "conversion camp" in South Africa.

As The Telegraph reported, Raymond Buys died two weeks after being put on life support two months into a three-month "training course" provided by Alex de Koker’s Echo Wild Game Rangers camp. The 15-year-old Buys had brain damage and a broken arm and bruises at the time, and had emerged severely malnourished, dehydrated and covered in cigarette burns, according to the report.

As Gay Star News points out, Buys was actually one of three men who died after being subjected to alleged abuse during the course. Two others, 25-year-old Erich Calitz and Nicolas Van Der Walt, 19, reportedly died of severe brain injuries after enrolling at the camp, where they were promised to "be turned into men."

“Raymond was only allowed to speak to me on speakerphone,” Raymond’s mother Wilna is quoted as saying. “When I asked him why he was hurting himself, he told me ‘Mum, I’m not doing it to myself.’”

One 19-year-old source claimed that Buys was chained to his bed every night, not allowed to use the toilet and on one occasion, was forced to eat his own feces.

Both Calitz and van der Walt died in 2007, the Bangalore Mirror reported. Conflicting media reports indicate that Buys died in April 2011 or 2012.

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