Welcome to Unsolved Murders SA, a podcast series where we will be delving into gruesome homicide investigations that, at the time of producing the episodes, were still open.
The objective of this series is to keep the stories of the forgotten alive and, hopefully, help spark a memory for anyone listening in with intimate knowledge of the cases.
The views, information, or opinions expressed in this series are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Swisher Post, its parent company and partners.
Some of the content featured in this series describes details of extreme violence. Therefore, viewers’ discretion is strongly advised.
Listen to Unsolved Murders SA on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or SoundCloud.
Unsolved Murders SA: Aviwe Jam Jam biography
Aviwe Jam Jam was a 26-year-old woman from Cape Town, South Africa, who was viciously murdered on the weekend of Friday 28 July 2017.
Aviwe was born in Dimbaza, a settlement situated near King Williams Town, in the Eastern Cape, on the 5th of July 1992.
She and her brother moved to Cape Town a few years later, when the relationship between her parents, Nomthandazo and Libha, fell apart.
Nomthandazo would settle in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, with her two children while Libha sought a new life in Johannesburg.
Even in their separation, Aviwe remained close with both of her parents, often taking holidays to spend time with her father every now and then.
Nomthandazo and Libha remarried with their respective partners, and in Cape Town, Aviwe and her brother were raised by stepfather Michael Mguga.
Friends and relatives of the then-26-year-old described her as a soft-spoken and highly ambitious woman who left smiles across most people she encountered.
Aviwe was not talkative but in any room she entered, her aura drew attention She was tall, slim with sharp symmetrical facial features that commanded your gaze.
Life at Cape Town High School had its challenges but Aviwe completed her matric in 2009 and enrolled at the Cape Town University of Technology (CPUT) to study Tourism.
Aviwe would graduate in 2013, where she traded jobs until she found permanent employment at the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA).
By then, she had struck up an intense romance with Linda Ntuloi, a man who wasn’t a student at CPUT but was often seen loitering the campus.
Friends of Aviwe suggest the allure of money and how generous Linda was with it may have had a hold on her since it was pretty clear from early on that their relationship was toxic.
While holding down her job at ACSA, Aviwe moved out of her parent’s home in Site C, Khayelitsha in 2016 to share a rental with Linda and their newborn baby at a gated community in Summerville, Kuils River.
Details of the unsolved murder of Aviwe
What started out as a journey taken by a young couple to raise their son in a two-parent household, would end in tragedy for Aviwe and the tale of her unsolved murder starts months before her battered body was dumped outside the Vygieskraal Stadium in Athlone in the wee hours of Sunday 30 July 2017.
It was no secret to Aviwe’s network of friends and relatives that more times than not, she was subjected to abuse by a very jealous and possessive Linda.
According to Libya, her biological father, Aviwe had abandoned her job at ACSA and, with the assistance of her step-mother, fled to Johannesburg to escape from Linda.
In an interview with the Weekend Argus, Libha recalled the day he was informed of Aviwe’s urgent plea to live with him in Johannesburg.
“She explained to my wife that she was in trouble and wanted to get away from her abusive boyfriend. She said she wanted to go to Johannesburg and my wife gave her the money she needed.”
Aviwe was picked up from an airport in Johannesburg by Libha’s brother but her stay in the City of Gold would be cut short after she conceded to mounting pressure from her mother who insisted she returns to Cape Town.
Concerning her return to the Mother City, Libha said:
“As weeks passed, her mother kept calling her to come home but she did not want to and when she asked me what to do I said she should stay there.
“About two months after her being there, I got a call from my brother telling me he is on his way to drop Aviwe off at the airport as her mother said she had an interview at some hotel.”
Compelled by the prospect of the hotel job, Aviwe returned to Cape Town and by all accounts, continued to see Linda, a man described by friends and relatives of the then-26-year-old as a violent and erratic partner.
In an interview with Vukani, a community newspaper, Michael, Aviwe’s stepfather, revealed that the family had not approved of her relationship with Linda and, on a number of occasions, attempts were made to intervene but the couple would find a way back to each other.
Despite their disapproval, Aviwe continued to see Linda after she returned from Johannesburg. But, as fate would have it, the family’s worst fears be realised on that fateful end-of-July weekend.
According to Michael, Nomthandazo last spoke to her daughter on Friday 28 July 2017 on the phone. At the time, Aviwe was making arrangements to drop off her son in Site C as she and Linda had a weekend of event-hopping planned. However, that Friday came and went without a word heard from Aviwe, something that was very uncharacteristic of her.
Numerous attempts were made by her family and friends to reach out to Aviwe but, bizarrely, calls went straight to voicemail.
Finally, calls made to Aviwe’s phone the next day, on Saturday 29 July 2017, would eventually be picked up by Linda who told everyone that the mother of his child had gone to the salon and left her phone behind.
About this strange behaviour, her stepfather Michael said:
“That was very strange because this child would never leave her phone behind.”
Later that evening, more attempts to reach Aviwe were made but again, they were sent straight to voicemail. That Saturday night came and went without a word heard from either Aviwe or her boyfriend. What the family didn’t know was that in Athlone, about 20km south from Khayelitsha, security guards patrolling the grounds of Vygieskraal stadium would make a gruesome discovery in the wee hours of Sunday 30 July 2017.
Aviwe’s body was barely recognisable when police were called to the scene. She was bagged up and sent to a nearby mortuary as a Jane Doe.
Her family would wait an excruciating week before a decision was made to file a missing person case. According to Michael, they had pinned their hopes on hearing from their daughter or the boyfriend but when the silence stretched onto Monday 7 August, the family sought the assistance of the police.
It took a day for police to match Aviwe’s description with a Jane that had been held at the mortuary and it was only on Tuesday 8 August that Nomthandazo and Michael saw their daughter. Unfortunately, however, it was under extremely unimaginable circumstances.
Aviwe Jam Jam murder investigation
Immediately, Linda was the prime suspect in Aviwe’s murder. He was the last person to see her alive. It was Linda who answered Aviwe’s phone on Saturday 29 July, a day since anyone had last heard from her which was very uncharacteristic of her.
In Aviwe’s last conversation with her mother, she had indicated that the couple had plans of attending a number of events that fateful weekend. Therefore, in all likelihood, she may have been with him when she was murdered.
Moreover, according to Nomthandazo, eyewitnesses contacted authorities when a number of unidentified men were seen dumping a body at the stadium.
In an interview with IOL News, Aviwe’s mother said:
“Witnesses who called the police said they saw a car reverse into the stadium. Then a group of men came out carrying the body. They placed her neatly on the ground and drove off.”
Police handling the investigation gathered enough of this circumstantial evidence to formally charge Linda with the first degree murder of Aviwe.
Unsolved Murders SA: Where is the case today?
Despite efforts made to stick the charges against the boyfriend, police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were never able to put forward a convincing case against Linda.
Perhaps, it was not due to any lack of effort on their part since witnesses close to the investigation started either disappearing or changing their minds about helping the State with the investigation.
Coincidentally, former defence attorney David Mbazwana was gunned down outside of his business in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, two months after he was dropped as Linda’s legal counsel.
Mbazwana’s death, however, was never linked to Linda.
The man believed to be the killer of Aviwe is a free man and her death much like cases of many South African women who die at the hands of unscrupulous men, remains unsolved.
Listen to Unsolved Murders SA on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or SoundCloud.