John Curran murder accused returns to South Africa jail after interpreter fails to show for bail bid

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John Curran murder accused returns to South Africa jail after interpreter fails to show for bail bid


John Curran
John Curran

THE alleged killer of Irish charity worker John Curran had his bid for temporary freedom thwarted after his interpreter failed to show at a South African court claiming he was sick.

Congolese born Mitspa Onyoka, 24, had already spent seven weeks behind bars after desperately trying in December to get bail after his arrest for the alleged murder.

At Cape Town Magistrates Court his lawyer was ready to proceed in a bid to get the laundry worker bail but magistrate Joe Magele was told that the defendant’s French interpreter was ill.

Accused Onyoka was told he would have to return to Pollsmoor Prison and wait another seven weeks for a chance to plead for bail.



John Curran had just finished his two years with the charityJohn Curran had just finished his two years with the charity

John Curran had just finished his two years with the charity

Father-of-four Mr Curran, 60, was found dead with multiple stab wounds to the head, face and body at his flat in a secure complex in Cape Town.

The popular Dublin-born charity worker had just completed a highly successful two-year contract in Cape Town as the Director of Education for Mellon Educate.

His task was to oversee the building of thousands of homes for disadvantaged people and the refurbishment and building of schools – many in the Cape Town townships – to educate local children.

Mr Curran’s contract had ended in September and he had taken two months off to enjoy a “farewell holiday” in South Africa before heading home.



Stabbed: John Curran had completed a two-year contract with the Mellon Educate charityStabbed: John Curran had completed a two-year contract with the Mellon Educate charity

Stabbed: John Curran had completed a two-year contract with the Mellon Educate charity

The former teacher was stabbed to death in his flat on November 7 and was found by a female friend who let herself into the flat after becoming worried when nobody could reach him.

It is believed there was no sign of forced entry to his apartment.

Onyoka was arrested at his place of work on November 23 and has been in custody since.

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The court head earlier heard that he was of no fixed abode as the people he was living with before the alleged murder were not prepared to allow him to stay there and that he was an illegal immigrant.



John Curran. Photo: Irish Primary Principals' Network/PA WireJohn Curran. Photo: Irish Primary Principals' Network/PA Wire

John Curran. Photo: Irish Primary Principals’ Network/PA Wire

Prosecutor Leon Snyman told the hearing in December that he feared Onyoka would abscond if he was given bail.

It is understood on March 12 the court will hear detailed evidence of the police case against Onyoka from the officer in the case.

Onyoka appeared in a grey hoodie and grey slacks and flip flops and appeared frustrated when he was told his interpreter was not in court.

The police contested bail hearing will be heard at Cape Town Magistrates Court on March 12.

Online Editors

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