Nhlanhla Gasa

Durban - A prominent Durban businessman has been found dead, floating in the Tugela River.

Nhlanhla Gasa was stabbed several times and dumped in the river. His body was found on Tuesday by residents of Newark who were drawn to the burnt-out remains of a Jaguar parked nearby.

Gasa, said to be a friend of President Jacob Zuma, was a well-known figure in Durban’s business community and held 19 directorships.

He was the chief executive of Gasa & Associates. Police believe he was attacked at his home in uMhlanga on Monday and driven over 70km to the John Ross Bridge, where his body was dumped.

“The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage. Durban North SAPS are investigating a case murder and no arrest had been made,” police spokesman Colonel Vincent Mdunge said.

Gasa’s daughter, Noni, said the family were battling to come to terms with his death.

“We are trying to figure this out.

“This story is too horrific to give details right now,” she said.

She added that they would be appointing a family spokesman to deal with media enquiries.

Gasa, the former chairman of Umgeni Water and of Absa (KZN), also had interests in the Elan SA property group after a black economic empowerment deal that involved him, Vusi Khoza, Thami Kamanga and Ntombi Shabalala.

His other daughter, former Miss SA, Mbali Gasa, married former SAA boss, Khaya Ngqula, in 2005.

In 2007, he was part of a consortium of BEE partners who paid R100 million for a 50 percent stake in the North Coast-based eLan Group, a leading developer of lifestyle eco-estates.

Gasa’s other directorships included Digicore Fleet Management (SA), C-Track SA, Thokomala Leisure, Kingdom Communications, Rest and Recuperation Retreats RL 37, Intrepid Logistics, Western Breeze Trading 135, Thabelo Office Automation and Sambulo Investments.

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