Juan Uys, leader of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance, was arrested by the child protection unit (CPU) in Pretoria last week after a man made a statement claiming Uys was dealing in child pornography and prostituting under-aged boys.
Uys registered as a candidate in 1999 election but failed to pay the registration deposit after his house burnt down, allegedly with the deposit money in it. He dropped out of the election.
Other allegations made against Uys include harasment and attempted blackmail.
The Star newspaper reported in January that the Pretoria council intended taking action against Uys after residents complained about his all-male massage parlour in Greenside East. They claimed there were naked men running around his garden daily and condoms and syringes being thrown over their walls.
At the time Uys said he would terminate his partnership in Pretoria massage parlour, Class of ’99, before registering as a candidate for Parliament.
But he continued to run the massage parlour and police set up a sting operation last week when Uys escorted a 19-year-old male prostitute to a Pretoria hotel. Police recorded the incident when the man allegedly agreed to be paid R190 an hour for his services. As soon as the “client”, a member of the public helping the police, had established the purpose of the man’s visit, police went into the hotel room to confront the boy about Uys.
Uys was taken into custody with his lover. The three men were taken to Uys’s Morletta Park home and he was formally arrested before his house was searched.
Items confiscated included porn videos and liquid poppers – a drug sniffed before sexual climax. Computer disks, videos and Uys’s computer were also seized. An overseas magazine which appears to be advertising child porn was confiscated.
Uys’s business premises were also searched but nothing was found. He remained co-operative with the police, but said he was no longer running a massage parlour.
“I’m glad something was done, Uys can’t carry on doing these things and treating people like this,” commented a businessman who at one stage had business dealings with Uys. He asked not to be identified.
“I became involved with Juan through a business we planned to start together. I knew he had a gay massage parlour but later found out he had child porn and some of his prostitutes [young men] looked like little girls.
“He had politicians and dominees going to him as well as overseas clients; in some cases he would take pictures of them and try blackmailing them. I pulled out of the business and that’s when Uys started harassing me.
“He phoned my friends to harass them, he sent me messages on my cellphone and faxes threatening to sue me and ruin me.
“He accused me of giving his ‘boys’ drugs when in fact he was the one supplying them with drugs. He threatened me and told me not to go to the police or the South African Narcotics Bureau because he had [the bureau] in his pocket.
“I felt trapped. I even moved so that he couldn’t harass me anymore but he only came down harder on my friends. Even after he was arrested and released, he phoned my friends again.
“I wish he would leave me alone. I just want to have this over with now. I’m leaving the country for good and then I can start my life over again.”
Uys was held in custody overnight after his arrest and has not yet been charged with any crime.