Reward for help in principal’s murder

By SHERLISSA PETERS Time of article published Feb 17, 2016

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Pietermaritzburg - A KwaZulu-Natal private investigator is offering a reward of R2 500 for any information that may lead to the arrests of those involved in the murder of Villa Maria Primary school principal, Nokuthula Magwanyana.

Rick Crouch, a Durban-based private investigator, confirmed on Tuesday that he had been hired by Magwanyana’s family and was offering the reward from his company’s funds.

“The family is devastated and have nowhere to turn. Magwanyana was a mom with a pre-teen child. I am a parent with teenage children and I can’t imagine how devastated my children and I would be if my wife was murdered in such a brutal way. We allocate a number of hours every year to deserving pro bono cases, and this is one of those,” Crouch told the Daily News on Tuesday.

Magwanyana died tragically in August. She had been driving home on Table Mountain Road in Pietermaritzburg when she was ambushed and her car forced off the road. She was then hacked to death and left in her car.

When the first witnesses arrived on the scene, Magwanyana’s body was still in the driver’s seat, with the driver’s side door open. She was being held in only by her seat belt.

She had several wounds on her body, inflicted by what police believed to be a small panga or a large knife.

Three suspects were later arrested and charged for her murder, after being found with Magwanyana’s cellphone, the only item stolen from her vehicle.

However,the murder charge was later withdrawn and the suspects now only face a theft charge.

Magwanyana’s murder has been surrounded by rumour and speculation over motive.

The Daily News reported at the time that near the time of the murder, someone had broken into the primary school and spray-painted on the principal’s office wall, calling for her to resign or be killed.

Some teachers speculated to the media that someone could have been after the principal’s job.

Dissatisfied with the progress of the police investigations, Magwanyana’s grief-stricken family hired Crouch to assist them.

“This was a contract killing. Someone hired people to murder this wife and mother, and they will eventually be caught. We conducted a search of the crime scene and found evidence relevant to the crime which we turned over to police,” said Crouch.

“We are offering a reward to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved,” he said.

“They can remain anonymous, we will not divulge their identity. Someone out there knows what happened.”

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