Congolese man sentenced for Irishman’s murder

Congolese man sentenced for Irishman’s murder


CAPE TOWN – A Congolese national has been sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Mitspa Nzakomba Oyoka was convicted of murder, theft, fraud and illegally remaining in South Africa.

According to the spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Eric Ntabazalila, Oyoka was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for the murder of 63-year-old Irish national John Francis Curran, three years’ imprisonment for theft, three years’ imprisonment for fraud and 12 months’ imprisonment for illegally remaining in the country.

Oyoka entered into a plea-and-sentencing agreement with the State.

He confessed to the court that Curran had made “inappropriate advances” towards him and this led to the murder on November 6, 2018. The pair are alleged to have become acquainted several weeks before.

He said he arrived at Curran’s apartment at a Cape Town hotel, where they had a drink, and that was when inappropriate advances were made towards him, which he rejected.

Oyoka stated Curran persisted to make advances and tried to convince him to engage in inappropriate conduct.

At one point he went to the toilet to relieve himself and that was when Curran followed him.

Oyoka said he became annoyed as Curran persisted in his advances.

He said he pushed Curran away, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed him multiple times.

Oyoka said that, after the stabbing, Curran fell and was struggling to breathe. He said he then took a frying pan and hit Curran over the head with it and left Curran lying motionless on the floor.

Oyoka stated that, before he left, he noticed a brand-new cellphone and he took it with the intention of selling it.

The phone was sold at a pawn shop in Parow the following day.

Oyoka told the court that he convinced the shop owner that he had received the phone as payment for a job he did for a German woman.

He said he was paid R5,100 (US$370) for the cellphone.

Police confiscated the phone on November 24, 2018, a day after Oyoka was arrested.

Oyoka also confessed to being in the country illegally since 2017.

State prosecutor Leon Snyman said Curran had been conducting charity work in South Africa before his death and his family was traumatised by the vicious murder.

– African News Agency

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