Badly decomposed body of abducted Zimbabwean businessman Evans Katumba Boss Vardy found near Durban


THE body of a Zimbabwean businessman, Evans Katumba, who was abducted in Durban last month with the kidnappers demanding a ransom of R2,5 million, has been found by police in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa with indications that he had been shot dead before the ransom demands were made.

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 Boss Vardy. He arrived in South Africa around 10 years ago and worked at a fuel service station before establishing his own fuel supply business.

In December last year, Katumba reportedly bought his latest luxury car, a R3,5 million Mercedes G63. In February this year, he bought Yugo nightclub — one of Durban’s top clubs and the venue of what would have been popular rapper AKA’s last concert before he was murdered last year.

It is alleged that a week after he bought Yugo Nightclub, there was an attempt to hijack him while driving his G63. He was stopped by a police car and an officer came to talk to him, before returning to the police car purportedly to check something.

While Katumba waited for the officer to come back, suddenly random people tried to open the car doors and he sped away.

Media reports indicated that he went to the United Kingdom and came back in early March to begin rebranding his club and around the same time he also bought a Ferrari and an Amarok.

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.

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