Tributes have been paid to an Irish charity worker who was killed in South Africa.

The body of John Curran was found in his apartment in Cape Town yesterday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is offering consular assistance to Mr Curran's family.

A spokesman for the South Africa Police Service, Captain Ezra October, said that an initial investigation indicates that Mr Curran suffered fatal stab wounds.

Captain October told RTÉ News that CCTV footage has been recovered from the scene, which he is hopeful will be of use in the investigation.

It is currently being examined by forensics experts.

A forensics officer at the scene (Pic courtsey: @MovesLikeDragan)

He added that at this stage they can confirm only that Mr Curran's mobile phone is missing, but officers at the crime scene are examining if anything else is missing.

Mr Curran had been working in South Africa as a Director of Education at Mellon Educate and had recently retired from that position.

He had just completed his two-year contract with them last week and was due to return to Ireland shortly.

Mr Curran was on holiday in Cape Town when he was killed.

Mr Curran was also well known in education circles in Ireland.

He was the principal of the Good Shepherd National School in Dublin's Churchtown for 14 years up until 2005.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, David Ruddy, President of the Irish Primary Principals' Network, paid tribute to him.

He described Mr Curran as a visionary and an exemplary leader who was passionate about support systems for school leaders. 

Mr Ruddy said that when Mr Curran retired, he embarked on several different projects, and engaged with teachers and principals both in Ireland and South Africa to offer them support and advice.

In a statement from Mellon Educate, their CEO Niall Mellon said they were deeply shocked to hear the news.

"John Curran was a very special man who was much loved by everyone who met him and especially by the thousands of children he helped during his time with Mellon Educate."

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said: "John was well known in education circles in Dublin Rathdown and served the children of Churchtown well during his many years teaching at Good Shepard NS.

"At a national level he was involved in numerous projects with IPPN over the years. I know he was held in high esteem by his former colleagues.

"His enthusiasm and energy was obvious to all and his legacy in the area of education is a significant one. He will be sadly missed," added Ms Madigan.