SEE: Slain UK man's selfie with suspect - 'I am shocked. It’s unbelievable', says acquaintance on Green Point murder

2018-10-29 16:45
Police at the flat of a UK man who was murdered (Supplied)

Police at the flat of a UK man who was murdered (Supplied)

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A photo of British citizen Upendra Edward Galegedera dining with a man who is wanted in connection with his murder suggests the two were not strangers.

It has been a week since Galegedera, 50, was found in his bloodied apartment. Police have since issued a warrant of arrest for 24-year-old Iryvine Dzitiro.

They say he is a person of interest and could shed light on their investigation.

While the manhunt is underway, questions have been raised about Dzitiro and the events leading up to the killing.

A police source told the Weekend Argus that Galegedera had picked up Dzitiro at a gay nightspot that weekend.

Victim took selfie with suspect

The source said detectives suspected that Dzitiro had returned to Galegedera’s home to rob him and that the UK man was stabbed to death in a struggle that ensued.

However, News24 has found that the pair had been acquainted with each other for at least a year beforehand.

Dzitiro posted a photo of them on his Facebook account on November 10, 2017. 

The photo was not relegated to one of many online albums but is instead given prominence as one of five featured photos on his profile page.  

It shows Galegedera taking a selfie with Dzitiro, who gives a thumbs up, while they dine on Asian food and red wine at a restaurant at night.

crime
Galegedera and Dzitiro at a restaurant last year. (Facebook)

Several residents of Hillside Heights in Wessels Road said they believed that the suspect was known to the victim and either renting a unit or staying with a friend in the same block of flats.

One resident told News24 that Galegedera lived in the UK but came out to South Africa every few months for short stays in his flat.

"He was very kind, quiet and sweet. A non-threatening and lovely person. I would sometimes see him in the elevator and catch up," the resident said.

"He hadn't been here very long and landed on Thursday or Friday."

READ: UK man murdered in Green Point 'kind, quiet and sweet'

His family in Hertfordshire had apparently contacted police after not hearing from him for a few days.

It was then that officials forced their way into his sixth-floor unit on Monday and discovered his body near the front door.

There was apparently also dry blood at the entrance to his flat.

Dzitiro 'was a nice guy'

George Norris, who worked with Dzitiro at some stage, was taken aback when informed about the manhunt.

"I am shocked. It’s unbelievable," he told News24 at the weekend.

The two met when Dzitiro sold him furniture in a store.

"He was a nice guy. He kept coming to ask me for a job."

He eventually took Dzitiro on as part of an estate agent mentorship programme for a brief period but the two later parted ways.

"He hasn’t worked [with us] for nearly a year. I thought he went back to Zimbabwe."

On his Facebook page, Dzitiro indicates that he studied in Harare, Zimbabwe, and then at Unisa.

He lists financial planning and investment strategy as his professional skills and his Facebook intro states: "I have no foolish limitations of right & wrong".

His photos appear to show an aspirational personality who wants to provide for his family back home. 

In 2016, he shared on his page that he wanted to retire by 25. He is seen in his photos trying on Rolex watches, sitting in a red McLaren and sipping on fancy drinks.

Surveillance footage 

Police are believed to have surveillance footage of the suspect in the complex, as well as footage of the victim's Audi A3 being driven out of the premises several times over the weekend.

The Audi A3 was later found a few blocks away in Prestwich Street.

Police have yet to confirm further details about the case.

"The investigation into this matter is currently at a very sensitive stage and this office cannot elaborate further on this matter," Captain FC van Wyk said previously.

A post-mortem also still needs to be concluded.

Galegedera's brother Sumendra and brother-in-law Stuart visited the flat last week, presumably to fetch his belongings.

They have asked for space in their time of grief.

The British High Commission in Pretoria has confirmed it is offering its support to them.

Anyone with information can contact Detective Sergeant Christopher Botha on 021 430 3700 or 079 894 1317 of Sea Point police, or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Read more on:    upendra galegedera  |  cape town  |  crime

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