Image of the suspect that police would not release right away. SAPS

Another philantropist hacked to death in Cape Town

South African police officers were called to the residence of John Curran, the former Director of Education at Mellon Educate in Cape Town, after he was found hacked to death in his apartment.

Published: November 15, 2018, 8:16 am

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    Cape Town

    Curran, a native of Ireland, was appointed at Mellon Educate, a NGO that works closely with the ANC government to provide education and housing for black people. Curran led a project that sought to rebuild and renovate schools in the black township of Khayelitsha in Cape Town.

    He had been in Cape Town for about two years, but was murdered on Wednesday, only days before he was due to return to Ireland.

    John Curran. SABC News

    “I know John as a person of high integrity and honesty. His negotiating skills and experience in commercial projects for IPPN [Irish Primary Principal’s Network] have demonstrated his abilities and skill in these areas,” one of his former colleagues said about Curran.

    Captain Ezra October, police spokesperson, confirmed that investigators had opened a case of murder. October said they had obtained CCTV footage that may link suspects in the case, but would not release the footage of a black suspect immediately.

    The police have been reluctant to share information on the investigation. Instead they have prioritised “informing his family in Ireland” suggesting that the ANC is worried that the murder of yet another philantropist could lead to more bad publicity for the government.

    The spokesman had initially blamed the slow pace of the investigation on “difficult” mobile phone technology: “Leads regarding the mobile phone has been a challenge but service providers are co-operating.”

    They eventually said in a statement accompanying the screenshot of the suspect: “Cape Town Central Detectives seek the assistance of the public in identifying the person depicted in the attached photos.”

    Curran, 60, who lived and taught in Churchtown, Dublin, had “multiple” knife wounds to his body.

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