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Kidnapped Zimbabwean businessman Evans Katumba still missing despite R1.5 million ransom paid

Police in South Africa have opened investigations into the disappearance of Durban-based Zimbabwean businessman Evans Katumba, after his kidnappers failed to release him despite the payment of a R1.5m ransom.

Katumba, who reportedly relocated to South Africa a decade ago, was reportedly kidnapped by AK47 wielding assailants at a nightspot that he had recently bought on 24 March.

According to ZimLive, after Katumba’s disappearance last month, his kidnappers had demanded a R2,5 million ransom. His family and friends reportedly then put together 1,5 million, which they were supposed to drop just in Ballito, a coastal town near Durban.

Also Read: Zimbabwean builder dupes woman R25 000 in SA

However, while the drop was made, the kidnappers did not release Katumba as promised.

“They demanded that one person should bring the money, and that police should not be involved. The money was dropped at an open field on the outskirts of Ballito, about 45 minutes from Durban.

“The kidnappers said they would release him after an hour, but that was the last communication they made,” a friend said.

SA Police and crack unit, The Hawks, are now reportedly investigating the matter.

Evans Katumba, a fuel station worker turned fuel supplier, was reportedly the target of an attempted hijacking in December. His plan to acquire Yugo, the nightclub from where he was snatched, is said to have put him in the crosshairs of some unsavoury characters in Durban.

Yugo is one of the clubs that late rapper AKA was supposed to perform in before he was slain last year.

“A week after he bought Yugo, 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 Vardy waited for the officer to come back, suddenly there were these random people trying to open the doors and he sped away,” a friend told ZimLive.

“He went to the United Kingdom and came back in early March to begin rebranding his club. Around the same time he also bought a Ferrari and an Amarok.

“He kept on receiving phone calls from people saying he must hire them as security and some saying he is a foreigner and can’t own a club in Durban. You have all these people from the underworld wanting a piece of it, some saying can we work with you, can we partner with you or can we do this or that.

“He was adamant that he would do everything his own way and that’s what he did. Some of us got concerned and we told him that his profile now requires that he has security at all times, but he decided against it.”

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