Zim businessman found dead in SA

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Business, Crime & Courts, International, Local News | 0 comments

Zim businessman found dead in SA

Mako Jerera

A body that is thought to belong to kidnapped Zimbabwean businessman Evans Katumba has been found in Hammarsdale in South Africa, three weeks after the fuel trader was taken by unknown assailants.

The body was badly decomposed but dressed in the clothes Katumba was wearing when he was kidnapped.

According to media reports from South Africa, Katumba, a fuel trader specialising in diesel, was snatched by men armed with AK47s on March 22 and had not been seen or heard from since.

Reports indicated that the kidnappers demanded a ransom of R2,5 million for Katumba’s release.

The family managed to raise R1.5 million which was reportedly handed over to the kidnappers. However, even after the partial payment, Katumba was not released, intensifying concerns among his family and friends.

Last Thursday morning, authorities in Hammersdale, a town west of Durban, recovered the body of a man with two bullet wounds. However, due to the advanced state of decomposition, identification could not be immediately confirmed.

The family now awaits DNA confirmation to establish the identity of the deceased. However, all the clothing found on the deceased matched what Katumba was wearing at the time of his abduction.

The South African Police Service and the Hawks have been investigating the case after a report was made.

Katumba, who is in his 40s, is known to friends by his social soccer nickname Vardy. He arrived in South Africa around 10 years ago and worked at a fuel service station before establishing his own fuel supply business.

On March 22, Katumba received a call from someone who wanted to meet him. It is reported that he left his Yellowwood Park home and along the way picked up an artiste who was due to perform at his nightclub later that evening.

When they got to the place where this meeting was supposed to take place, they were met by unknown people armed with AK47s who took him and the brand new Amarok, which was yet to be installed with a tracker.

The artiste who was travelling with Katumba was left at the scene.

A report was made at Durban Central Police Station on March 25 under case number 1029/3/2024.