Durban — The Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) has paid tribute to its lecturer, Shan Dwarika, after his body was recovered in Inanda on Saturday afternoon.
MUT Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Marcus Ramogale said their long-serving staff member Dwarika was confirmed dead by his daughter Ayuushi Dwarika-Rajbansi.
“May his soul rest in peace,” Ramogale said.
“His body was found in Inanda this afternoon (Saturday). I cannot imagine what his family is going through at this moment. All I can say at this stage is that our law enforcement have given us some confidence that this country’s laws must be respected.”
Ramogale said that during the week, they held various media briefings where they also heard colleagues and students pleading with the criminals to return Dwarika alive.
“During those briefings, we got to know more about Mr Dwarika’s kindness, hard work, compassion, and respect for humanity. He was truly a good man,” Ramogale said.
“I wish to reiterate that Mr Dwarika has dedicated his whole life to the intention of making an impact in the lives of historically disadvantaged communities in many ways. Having been with MUT for 26 years, driving to campus every day from Verulam and staying afterwards for consultations with his students, the same age as his abductors, it is shameful that he had to be killed in this manner.”
Ramogale said that Dwarika’s colleagues attested to him as being someone who loved his family and had a positive outlook.
“He loved his family and grandchildren just as he loved the students with all his heart,” Ramogale said.
He informed family, staff and students that their counselling department had volunteered to offer psychological counselling to anyone who wished to be assisted.
“Rest in peace dear brother, colleague, teacher, and friend to many,” Ramogale added.
Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said that two men who were arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a 61-year-old man had been charged with murder following the recovery of his body.
“The victim, who was last seen on May 28, 2023, was reported missing and later charges of kidnapping and carjacking were registered following police investigations. Further intensive investigation led to the arrests of two suspects, and on Saturday a team of investigators followed investigative leads to Inanda where his slain body was found,” Netshiunda said.
“A search for at least two more suspects who are believed to have also been involved in his kidnapping and subsequent murder is ongoing.”
Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) spokesperson Prem Balram said that Dwarika’s kidnapping was captured on CCTV footage, and it showed three men forcing him into the rear of his black Honda CRV. He had not seen or heard from since.
Balram said that Dwarika’s family reported him missing to Rusa and the Greenwood Park SAPS. Reaction officers and detectives followed up on several leads that resulted in a person of interest in the case being arrested at an informal area in Crow Place in Sea Cow Lake on Wednesday.
He said that during an interview with Reaction Unit and SAPS officers, the man was confronted with an identikit of a second individual who was sought for questioning in Dwarika’s abduction. He confirmed that the person was known to him and offered to point out his residence.
He also said that six reaction officers and two detectives from the Greenwood Park SAPS proceeded to an informal area in Springfield Park, popularly known as Puntan’s Hill where the second person of interest was apprehended. He was transported to the Greenwood Park SAPS where he was interviewed.
Balram said that the 22-year-old explained that on the afternoon of the abduction he was picked up from his home by two friends driving the victim’s vehicle. The elderly male was also in the car. They proceeded to several locations. They purchased alcohol using Dwarika’s ATM cards before they murdered him and dumped his body in a bush in Inanda. The suspect could not confirm the exact location as he claimed to have been heavily intoxicated at the time.
He said that Reaction Unite officers and detectives transported the suspect to the area in an attempt to locate the scene. Due to inclement weather and poor lighting, the search was called off and resumed on Thursday morning. Once again, the suspect led officers to various locations that yielded no results.
“On Friday, investigators from the SAPS Provincial Task Team were appointed to assist in the investigation. Detectives contacted Rusa and all information gathered in the matter was shared with them. The team proceeded to Inanda this afternoon (Saturday) with the 22-year-old suspect and discovered Dwarika’s remains in a bush,” Balram said.
“The victim’s vehicle and two additional suspects have yet to be located.”
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