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File picture: Pexels

'I was in panic': Murder accused says victim tried to rape him

By Mike Behr Time of article published Feb 15, 2020

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Cape Town - Congolese national Mitspa Oyoka stabbed John Curran in self-defence to stop the Irish aid worker raping him.

This emerged from an affidavit the Congolese submitted during his failed 2018 bail hearing in which he graphically describes his attack which left Curran with 26 fatal stab wounds.

In that same affidavit, Oyoka, who was in court on Friday for a pre-trial hearing, indicated he would plead not guilty to murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

“I have been advised by my legal representative that my conduct lacks any form of unlawfulness and submit that I was acting in my own defence as it was evident Mr Curran intended to rape me.”

Oyoka’s pre-trial hearing was postponed to next month to allow for consultations with a recently hired advocate.

No evidence was led, but in his earlier affidavit, Oyoka, now 25, said he met Curran, 60, at Fantasy Lounge Bar in Goodwood where he worked as a cleaner.

“He would come in from time to time. He saw me and called me over to speak to me. He asked for my name and provided me with a business card and told me to call him the following day as he wanted to help me.”

The following day in a telephone conversation, Curran offered to improve Oyoka’s job prospects and illegal immigrant status.

Curran then contacted him again on November 5, 2018. They went to GrandWest, where Curran gave him a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone as a present, said Oyoka, contesting the State’s claim that he stole it after he allegedly murdered Curran.

Again, Curran allegedly dangled the carrot of better job prospects, said Oyoka, telling him “that he saw potential in me”.

Curran invited him to his flat on November 6, 2018, claims Oyoka, who joined him for a drink that afternoon. During their conversation on the couch, he began to feel drowsy and Curran attempted to kiss him.

“I pushed him away and was left quite uncomfortable. I told him that I needed to use the bathroom” and while urinating, Curran “grabbed me from behind and looked over my shoulder to see my genitals.

“I then struggled with him to get him off me. He let go and I told him I did not want this. At this stage, we were outside the bathroom and he then shoved me against the wall. He told me that ‘all this time meeting you, you don’t understand what I need’.

“He pushed me against the wall and began touching my genitals. I was in a panic and terrified. I was not comfortable and I did not want this to happen. Despite my protests, he would not stop.

“I was trying to push him off me, but I was unable to stop him. He was removing my pants while pinning me.

“While he had his hand on my genitals, I saw a knife on the table which I grabbed and I began to stab him. This made him incredibly angry. He swore at me, saying that he just wanted to give me a nice life, and he began to choke me.

“I fell to the floor and he was on top of me, continuing to choke me. I stabbed him again and eventually he stopped choking me. I managed to get him off me. I got up and left his flat.

“At that stage, I did not know whether or not he was dead. I felt violated and I was terrified of what just happened.”

The State alleged in its indictment that Oyoka, “on or about November 7, 2018 at Cape Town Lodge, 101 Buitengracht Street, unlawfully and intentionally killed Curran”.

The prosecution is expected to present evidence showing Oyoka and Curran actually met on the gay, bi and trans dating app Grindr, where the accused allegedly used the pseudonym “Mitch”.

Curran, a father of four and grandfather of six, was working in Cape Town as director of education for Mellon Educate, an Irish-based charity for the poor founded by Niall Mellon.

Weekend Argus

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