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Locked up Cleaner jailed for 18 years for brutal murder of Irish charity worker John Curran in South Africa

The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town heard the illegal immigrant stabbed Curran 26 times and beat him with a frying pan round his head.


John Curran

John Curran

John Curran

The killer of an Irish charity worker in South Africa has been sentenced to 18 years behind bars after butchering him in his own luxury apartment.

Nightclub cleaner Mitspa Oyoka, 27, turned on father-of-four John Curran, 63, claiming the former Dublin school principal had made sexual advances.

The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town heard the illegal immigrant stabbed Curran 26 times and beat him with a frying pan round his head.

He attacked him with such force both the knife and frying pan broke and Oyoka left him dead in his blood-spattered flat and stole his mobile phone.

The court heard that the couple met at The Fantasy Lounge in Goodwood, Cape Town, where Curran was a member and Oyoka was a cleaner.


Mitspa Oyoka in lift up to Curran's apartment

Mitspa Oyoka in lift up to Curran's apartment

Mitspa Oyoka in lift up to Curran's apartment

Oyoka claimed that he was invited back to Curran’s flat to discuss a job offer and was invited past security guards and inside the secure complex.

Married father-of-four Curran had just finished a two-year contract as Director of Education for Mellon Educate – a charity run by philanthropist Niall Mellon.

He was taking a two month break before returning to his family in Dublin for Christmas when he met Oyoka at the club.


John Curran

John Curran

John Curran

In a statement read to the court Oyoka tells his version of the frenzied crime in which he admits murder, theft, fraud and being an illegal immigrant in South Africa.

His statement read: “I became acquainted with the deceased John Curran and was invited to his apartment suite and on arrival we had some drinks.

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“The deceased then made advances of a sexual nature which I rejected and he continued to try and convince me to engage in sexual conduct.

“I went to the toilet to relieve myself and the deceased followed. I turned around and saw the deceased behind me wanting to enter the toilet.

“I became annoyed as It seemed he was not going to stop with the advances and pushed the deceased away back into the kitchen.

“I grabbed a knife and stabbed him multiple times on the body and he fell to the ground and was struggling to breathe so I hit him over the head with a frying pan.

“The deceased then just lay there motionless. I admit I was in no danger and could have left the apartment at any time after I pushed him away from me.

“I admit my action were unlawful and that when I stabbed him foresaw my actions could result in the death of the deceased yet still continued,” he said.

Mr Curran’s body was found in the blood drenched apartment at the base of Table Mountain by his horrified cleaner the next day on November 7, 2018.

Oyoka also admitted theft in stealing Curran’s brand-new Samsung S9 cell phone and fraud by selling it to Cash Crusaders as his own for £250.

He also admitted being an illegal immigrant and was sentenced to 18 years for murder, three years for theft, three years for fraud and one year for being illegal.

Oyoka was caught after CCTV images from the lift he took up to Curran’s apartment and back down again were circulated and he was recognised.

He was arrested several weeks later by Warrant Officer Shaun Bardieu.

The judge ordered that all sentences would run concurrently and Oyoka was taken away to begin his sentence in one of South Africa’s notorious jails.

He was taken to notorious Pollsmoor which is run by evil gangs and which TV’s Ross Kemp admitted was the “scariest” prison he did a documentary on.

Oyoka was facing the statutory murder sentence of 25 but having already having served 2 and a half years it was agreed to offer a plea bargain.

It is understood Mr Curran’s family in Dublin accepted the plea bargain rather than have to fly to South Africa and sit through all the horrific evidence.

Curran worked for Mellon Educate which Is a Cape Town charity with over 25,000 volunteers which has built houses for 120,000 in the poor townships.

It has also built countless schools to educate over 10,000 children in poverty.

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