Congolese man filmed on CCTV held for murder of Irishman in Cape Town

Congolese national Mitspa Mzakomba Onyoka, 24, was arrested for the murder on Friday

26 November 2018 - 14:09 By Anthony Molyneaux and ARON HYMAN

A 24-year-old Congolese national appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on charges of murder and robbery on Monday in connection with the death of Irishman John Curran, 60. 

Curran's body was found in his Buitengracht Street apartment in Cape Town on November 7 after he was stabbed to death.

Curran was in Cape Town as part of his work for the non-profit organisation Mellon Educate which helps governments to improve the quality of education at under-resourced schools. 

After releasing images of CCTV footage - taken inside an elevator and dated November 6 - police arrested Mitspa Mzakomba Onyoka in Voortrekker Road on Friday, November 23.

He was wearing boxer shorts and sandals as he entered the dock on Monday and asked magistrate Greg Jacobs for a French interpreter as his English was not good enough to listen to the case against him.

It is understood he was arrested at his cleaning job in Voortrekker Road.

Investigating officer detective WO Shaun Bardien told the court that Onyoka needed to be taken for blood tests in order to compare his DNA with evidence found at  the murder scene.

Curran was reportedly found in a pool of blood by his girlfriend with only his cellphone missing.

Mellon Educate said in a media statement that Curran had just completed his contract as director of education in South Africa and that he was staying on for "a number of weeks" on vacation.

The organisation's CEO Niall Mellon said they were assisting his family and expressed gratitude to people who had sent "warm wishes" and "empathy".

"I know our many volunteers and supporters will be very sad to hear this tragic news. John was much loved by everyone who met him and especially by the thousands of children he helped during his time with Mellon Educate," said Mellon.

The accused is expected to make a formal bail application on December 3.