Nkosinathi Nkomo was a Soweto-born Universality of Cape Town (UCT) student and inventor. He died at just 24-years-old after gaining attention from national media for his invention of a water purification system aimed at helping the drought crisis.
His product and company, AquaRenu, began gaining attention in October. By December, he was dead after allegedly falling from a multi-storey building in Cape Town. This questions and conspiracy theories soon began in earnest.
Unable to afford his UCT fees, Komo had launched AquaRenu and soon began making enough money to pay his fees and continue his civil engineering degree.
“Kau (Nkomo’s nickname) would do research and learn as much as he can about anything,” his cousin told Sowetan in 2017.
At the time of his death, Police didn’t offer much info other than the fact that no foul play was suspected.
“It’s been alleged that the deceased fell from the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment at the hotel. No foul play is suspected at this moment and an inquest case was registered for investigation purposes.” – Western Cape police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut
The conspiracy theories grew after Nkomo’s father “ruled out” suicide for his son’s death. He was adamant Nkomo had no enemies, owed no debts and said that “the truth will come out one day.”
Fast forward to February 2018 and #NkosinathiNkomo is trending on local Twitter. Why? One particular tweet from Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, has a lot to do with it.
Many South Africans were furious as they claimed Krige used Nkomo’s idea and was now getting the credit for it.
People were adamant that the two ideas were the same…
While most of the anger and accusations seem to be only online, some have called on Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to provide an update or look deeper into Nkomo’s death.
Until that point, it seems no one will ever know for sure what happened to Nkosinathi Nkomo.