Zimbabwean Businessman Evans Katumba Remains in Captivity Despite Ransom Payment Despite the payment of a R1.5 million ransom, Evans Katumba, a Zimbabwean businessman abducted in Durban, South Africa, remains in captivity. South African authorities have launched an investigation into the matter.

Katumba, a resident of South Africa for a decade, was seized on March 22 by armed assailants at a recently acquired nightspot in Durban. His captors initially demanded R2.5 million for his release. In a bid to secure his freedom, family and friends gathered R1.5 million and arranged for its delivery to the kidnappers in Ballito, near Durban, on March 24.

However, despite the ransom drop, Katumba’s captors failed to release him as promised. According to a friend of Katumba, the kidnappers insisted on the ransom being delivered without police involvement. The money was deposited at an open field, but Katumba’s whereabouts remain unknown.

The ordeal follows a string of incidents targeting Katumba. In December 2023, there was an unsuccessful attempt to kidnap him, and concerns arose after his acquisition of Yugo Nightclub in February, the venue where the late rapper AKA was scheduled to perform on the night of his assassination.

According to Katumba’s friend, after purchasing the nightclub, he faced increasing pressure, including attempted hijackings and demands for security partnerships. Despite warnings about his safety, Katumba remained determined to operate independently.

The investigation into Katumba’s abduction continues as his family and associates anxiously await his safe return.

His friend told ZimLive:

“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.

“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.”