John Curran murder: Accused faces 18-year sentence for killing Irish aid worker in plea deal - report

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John Curran
John Curran
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  • Mitspa Oyoka has entered into a plea deal with the State, admitting that he killed Irish aid worker John Curran in 2018.
  • According to the plea deal, Oyoka will face an 18-year jail sentence.
  • Oyoka initially claimed that he acted in self-defence against Curran's unwanted sexual advances towards him.

Nightclub employee Mitspa Oyoka, who killed Irish aid worker John Curran in Cape Town in 2018, has entered into a plea deal with the State in terms of which he faces 18 years in jail.

After initially claiming that he acted in self-defence, Oyoka entered into the plea and sentencing agreement in the Western Cape High Court this week and confessed to killing Curran, according to a Sunday Times report.

He is expected to be sentenced to 18 years in jail when he appears in court in June, according to the agreement, the publication reported.

News24 previously reported that Oyoka, 27, met Curran through gay dating site Grindr. Curran invited him to his apartment at a high-security complex in Buitengracht Street, Cape Town, in November 2018.

He initially told the court that he murdered Curran because he made unwanted sexual advances towards him, and that he acted in self-defence.

CCTV footage

The Weekend Argus reported at the time that Curran had given a security guard at his apartment block permission to allow Oyoka through a security door on the floor where he lived.

The publication reported that a series of CCTV stills, which police released, showed Oyoka taking the lift to that floor. When a guard followed the 27-year-old in the next lift, Curran motioned to the guard that it was his guest.

A domestic worker discovered Curran's body the following day. His body was lying in a pool of blood and there were open wounds on his forehead.

The plea agreement states that Oyoka used "excessive violence and acted out of greed". He stole Curran's cellphone.

The Irishman, who was 60 at the time, had completed his tenure as director of education for Mellon Educate South Africa and was supposed to head home at the time of his death.

Oyoka is believed to be from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the Department of Home Affairs submitted a statement to the court to say it had no record of the accused after 2015.

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