Gay Teen Dead After Inhuman Treatment at Camp That Makes “Men Out of Boys”

raymondbuysIn South Africa, a 15-year-old boy died after being chained to his bed, beaten with planks and sticks, electrocuted and forced to eat his own feces as part of a three-month training course designed to make “men out of boys.”

Wilma Buys had sent her son Raymond to Alex de Koker’s Echo Wild Game Rangers in the south of Johannesburg in January 2011 after it was recommended to her by a friend. Raymond had been diagnosed with ADHD and de Koker told his mother he could help him find a job in the wildlife trade.

But 10 weeks into the course, Raymond was rushed to the hospital and Mrs. Buys would never see her son conscious again.

The Daily Telegraph reports:

He was severely emaciated and dehydrated, had brain damage, a broken arm and bruises, and cigarette burns all over his body. His mother was told that the chances of him surviving were “virtually zero”. He died two weeks later.

“I sent my son on this course to make him a better man, to give him a better future,” Wilma Buys told The Daily Telegraph. “I trusted Alex de Koker with his life.”

Mr de Koker, 49, and employee Michael Erasmus, 20, are currently on trial for charges of murder, child abuse and neglect, along with two cases of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in relation to Mr. Buys’ death.

During trial last week, Gerhard Oosthuizen, 19 — who had shared a tent with Buys — tearfully recounted how Buys was chained to his bed after he tried to escape, was forbidden from using the bathroom and repeatedly soiled himself. According to Oosthuizen, on one occasion when Buys went to the bathroom in a field while the recruits worked, he was forced to eat his own feces.

Oosthuizen also described seeing Buys in a hut with a pillowcase over his head as de Koker and Erasmus shocked him with a stun gun. “He screamed,” Oosthuizen said. “I was scared and ran away.”

Four years earlier, de Koker was charged with the death of two young men: 18-year-old Erich Calitz and 19-year-old Nicholas van der Walt. de Koker escaped charges in van der Walt’s death, which was ruled to have been caused by a heart attack, and was handed a suspended sentence in 2009 for Calitz’s death from severe brain injuries.

Calitz’s sister said he was beaten when he asked to quit the camp and that de Koker “told him that he wasn’t gay and he would make a man out of him.”

Gender activist Melanie Nathan suggests the three teens  were all “perceived as gay and clearly effeminate” and de Koker’s methods had “gay repartaive undertones”:

The idea of the camp is to apparently make men of teens and to “cure”  ‘”feminine traits’ in male youths…” another way of saying gay reparative therapy, instead in this instance that therapy involved “beating the gay out of the kid”…

de Koker and Erasmus have both pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder, child abuse and neglect, failure to provide adequate clothing, food, housing or assistance and two charges of assault, in a case postponed from November last year.

(h/t: Gay Star News)

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #alexdekoker #gayconversiontherapy #gayreparativetherapy stories and more


  • 2eo

    christian blood money. It is well known who funds these places, the money leads to the catholic church and to evangelicals in America.

    Blood money.

  • tardis

    I’m speechless.

  • continuum

    Yet another example of Xristian love.

  • Ganymede

    I don’t see any mention of involvement with Christianity in this article. Do you have another source that indictes de Koker was linked to Christianity?

  • Cam


    Don’t forget, BYU and the LDS church also used electric shocks in gay reparative therapy as well.

    I can’t believe this guy was still allowed to run a camp after the FIRST kids died there.

  • JacSchu

    I am disgusted and ashamed to be a South African, lovely how these criminals seem to slip through our lacking justice system :/

  • hyhybt

    I’d love to hear their defense.

  • Polaro

    Just when I thought I might be against the death penalty…

  • oilburner

    Don’t forget this kids mother is a homophobe she sent her son to a death camp

  • hyhybt

    @oilburner: We do not know why she sent him there, nor that she knew the true nature of the place. Nor that she’d do the same today even without knowing what it was like.

  • luciferosirisarnold

    These were not Christians that did this, these were evil homophobes that deserve death. The parents are to blame too. I just hate this kind of stuff. Where is the justice?

  • hyhybt

    @Jamal: OK… where do you see reported the items I said we don’t know? Alternately, if you haven’t seen them reported, how is my saying we don’t know them BS?

  • gaymaniac

    This woman must be a really loving & caring mother to do that to her own child. The hetero-obsession of many parents is the reason for 25-30% of teen suicides.

  • mll1985

    @Ganymede: de Koker is a known member of the AWB, a right-wing separatist organization in South Africa. They are defininitely a “Christian” group and de Koker’s actions are representative of those beliefs. The group does not tolerate gays and believes in 100% gender conformity.

    “I sent my son to this course to make him a better man, to give him a better future.” – Wilma Buys

    It was known to Wilma and to others that this camp offered reparative therapies to “effeminate men and boys.” It does not take a rocket scientist to know what is meant by that description, @hyhybt. Wilma Buys did not like the idea of a gay son

  • dvlaries

    Well, if Echo Wild Game Rangers is losing some personnel, perhaps we could send them Marcus Bachmann and Rick Santorum? They’d fit right in, and they’re not doing much these days anyway.

  • Joseph

    @Ganymede: non-religious people don’t do this to gay people, at least not because they are gay.

  • viveutvivas

    This is terrible.

    I was looking for it in the SA newspapers but then I saw it happened back in 2011. Not a serious criticism, but you guys are a little late with this.

  • Ann Mason

    I can’t begin to imagine the trauma Raymond Buys went through before his death.

    In the United States, where legislators are beginning to act on forbidding mental health professionals from participating in ex-gay scams, the potential for kids in the U.S. to suffer abuse camp horror hasn’t changed. The breakthrough legislation in California (which is being challenged in court as a threat to parental entitlement)doesn’t address sending kids to residential facilities run by charlatans. Many of those abuse camps are outside the country, so the inadequate laws regulating camps in the U.S. may not even apply.

    I recall a court case from many years ago, involving a teenager who was not identified as gay. The Alameda County (California) DA went to Superior Court and asked that the boy be flown back from a “school” in Jamaica to answer questions about whether he was being abused by his captors. His parents reportedly had him taken into custody by armed adults in the middle of the night and flown out of the country because they didn’t like the way he had been talking to them. His parents told a television reporter they had invested money and time in more humane methods to force respect from him before having him sent away.

    The parents’ lawyer told the court there was no evidence of abuse, and the judge agreed. So, the boy had to stay where he was.

    I don’t know what eventually happened to the boy, but I do know that his imprisonment was wrong. His alleged crime was mouthing off to his parents, and without due process he was treated as a criminal. WTF?

  • Ogre Magi

    @Ganymede: Yeah, I’m sure they were Wiccan


    I grow up in South Africa, I am now 64 Yo, and it was always that way in the tribes. AdamHomo

  • Bob LaBlah

    I would not be surprised at ALL if he turned out strait the mother would NEVER have time to babysit his kids, even in an emergency.

  • Will L

    Well, good for her. I hope she’s proud. If she wanted him dead, why didn’t she just put something in his food. It beats being tortured to death.

  • spacegod

    Lock me in a room with with the leaders of this camp.
    I would love to make men out of them.

  • spacegod

    Lock me in a room with the leaders of this camp.
    I would love to make men out of them.

  • Max Pepa

    “The Telegraph” posted the original article. It doesn’t mention him being gay at all, and goes into further explanation as to why the mother was unaware of what was going on with his son. Nevertheless it’s tragic and devastating.

    You know, I don’t believe in heaven or hell, but crimes like these make me wish it did. I hope the rest of their time on this earth is a living hell, because absolutely no one deserves to have such a death. And wherever these boys may be, may they finally be at peace.

  • Billysees

    @gaymaniac: 14

    This is a good, insightful comment from you —

    “This woman must be a really loving & caring mother to do that to her own child. The hetero-obsession of many parents is the reason for 25-30% of teen suicides.”

    Especially — “The hetero-obsession of many parents…”

Comments are closed.