Sunday Times

Jail for charity worker’s gay-date killer


● A nightclub cleaner will be jailed for 18 years for murdering Irish charity worker John Curran. The murderer had allegedly rebuffed his victim’s sexual advances.

Mitspa Oyoka, 27, stabbed Curran 26 times. He also hit Curran, 63, a father and grandfathe­r, with a frying pan.

At his bail hearing in 2018, Oyoka said Curran had tried to rape him but he has since said this was untrue.

Curran was living and working in Cape Town at the time of the November 2018 murder.

Oyoka was arrested after a tip-off and was linked to the crime scene through DNA evidence.

“I admit that it was not necessary for me to act in such a manner,” said Oyoka in a plea agreement in the Western Cape High Court this week, backtracki­ng on his initial claim that he was acting in self-defence.

According to the plea agreement, he will be sentenced to 18 years in jail when he appears again on June 1. A postponeme­nt was granted after Oyoka requested time to inform his family in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Noting the aggravatin­g circumstan­ces of a “serious murder”, the agreement says Oyoka used “excessive violence” and “acted out of greed” by stealing Curran’s cellphone.

Mitigating circumstan­ces for Oyoka are that he is a first offender who has been awaiting trial since November 23 2018.

The plea agreement describes the last moments of Curran, who met Oyoka on the gay dating site Grindr and invited him to his apartment on November 6 2018.

At the time, Curran, of Dublin, was working in Cape Town as director of education for an Irish-based developmen­t charity. He had a live-in boyfriend but they had an open relationsh­ip.

Oyoka said he met Curran at his apartment and they had drinks before he made “advances of a sexual nature towards me, which I rejected”.

“At some point I went to the toilet to relieve myself and the deceased followed ... I became annoyed as it seemed the deceased was not going to stop with the advances.”

He said he grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Curran several times. Then he took a frying pan and hit Curran.

“He just lay there motionless,” said Oyoka.

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 ??  ?? Blood splatters showing where Irish charity worker John Curran, left, was murdered.
Blood splatters showing where Irish charity worker John Curran, left, was murdered.
 ?? Picture: Mike Behr ?? Confessed murderer Mitspa Oyoka.
Picture: Mike Behr Confessed murderer Mitspa Oyoka.

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