Missing Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) lecturer Shan Dwarika has been confirmed dead after his body was found in Inanda on Saturday, the university’s acting vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Marcus Ramogale confirmed.
Sixty-one-year-old Dwarika was kidnapped by three men last Sunday on Crow Road in Sea Cow Lake, Durban.
CCTV footage showed three men forcing the elderly electrical engineering lecturer into the rear of his black Honda CRV. He was not seen or heard from since.
Police have confirmed that two men were arrested and charged with murder.
According to Reaction Unit SA (Rusa), a security company based on the north coast in KwaZulu-Natal, Dwarika’s family reported him missing at the Greenwood Park SAPS. Together, Rusa officers and detectives followed up several leads, which resulted in a person of interest in the case being arrested at an informal area in Crow Place on Wednesday, the security company said.
A second person of interest was apprehended at an informal area in Springfield Park known as Puntins Hill shortly afterwards, where he was transported to the Greenwood Park SAPS, where he was interviewed.
According to Rusa, 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 man was also in the car. They proceeded to several locations where 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.
“Reaction 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 lead officers to various locations which yielded no results,” Rusa said in a media statement.
It further reported that the SAPS Provincial Task Team were deployed to assist in the investigation on Saturday. After the team proceeded to Inanda, they soon discovered Dwarika’s remains in a bush.
The victim’s vehicle and two additional suspects are yet to be located, Rusa reported.
“I cannot imagine what his family is going through at this moment. All I can say at this stage is that our law enforcement has given us some confidence that this country’s laws must be respected,” MUT’s VC and principal Ramogale said.
During the week, the institution held various media briefings where Dwarika’s students pleaded with the kidnappers to deliver the lecturer safe and alive.
Ramogale said that during those briefings, they also got to know more about Dwarika’s kindness, hard work, compassion and respect for humanity.
“He was truly a good man. I wish to reiterate that Mr Dwarika has dedicated his whole life with an intention of making an impact in the lives of the 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, who are the same age as his abductors, is shameful that he had to be killed in this manner,” Ramogale said.
He added that many of his colleagues had attested to Dwarika being someone who loved his family and always had a positive outlook on life.
“He loved his family and grandchildren, just as he loved the students, with all his heart,” Ramogale said.
MUT has offered psychological counselling for family, staff and students.