FAMILY, friends, industry players and residents flocked to the Block M, Soshanguve, home of Matwetwe actor Sibusiso Khwinana, 25, pictured, who was stabbed to death during an apparent robbery on Friday night.
Cast members and producers of the hit movie, shot in Atteridgeville and released in January, which had already clocked 3 million viewers, visited the family’s home yesterday.
The distraught family, who have begun funeral preparations for the burial on Saturday, were inconsolable hours after the tragic incident and asked to be given time to grieve.
However, yesterday they opened up about the actor, who they said was committed to his craft.
“It is painful that we lost him now, unexpectedly and senselessly. We are devastated, but it is a journey and we will walk to accept this,” his cousin Khalo Khwinana said.
“He was a respectful child who never hesitated to apologise if he wronged someone. Anything sinister is not Sibusiso. Anything he does, he does with a good heart and noble intentions. He was passionate about his work.” Khalo said.
When Matwetwe hit the big screen in January, Khwinana took his entire family to the opening night at Sterland Mall in Arcadia, Pretoria, the cousin recalled.
While waiting for transport at the same mall, the actor, father of a fouryear-old girl, was stabbed in the chest by robbers who took his cellphone. They stabbed him when he tried to fight back.
He was with his friend Papi, real name Tebatso Mashishi, who starred alongside him in the movie.
No arrests had been made by late yesterday, and a case of robbery and murder was being investigated by the police, who said they would leave no stone unturned in the hunt for the perpetrators. “It is alleged that he and his friend were at the corner of Pretorius and Steve Biko streets when he was accosted. He was certified dead on the scene,” police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said.
Khwinana, who plays the role of the shy Lefa in the movie, died at about 11pm.
Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa described him as “the pride of Soshanguve”, saying the country had lost a great talent.
“We are devastated to learn of the tragic and untimely passing of the celebrated actor, whose talent was demonstrated in his performance in the box-office hit Matwetwe.” He was also a founding member of the Independent Theatres Makers Movement,” he said.
DJ Black Coffee, real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo and executive producer of Matwetwe, also expressed shock and outrage. “What a loss. How long will it take for us to realise we have a crime problem as a country? How many people must die before we do something? Who must we trust to protect us and our families… who must we vote for?” he asked in a social media post.
He could not speak when he arrived at Khwinana’s home yesterday. With him was comedian and co-producer of Matwetwe, Kagiso Lediga, who said he was at a loss for words. “I was in Cape Town when I first heard the news.
“It is a hard thing, tragic. We are waiting to find out what the police are doing to find the killers,” he said.
The South African State Theatre management said crime had robbed the country of a great talent. “We have been privileged a front-seat view of Khwinana’s career rise to greatness…
“We were expecting to see and experience more from him, but crime untimely robbed us of that dream…
“Khwinana will be greatly missed in our corridors, rehearsals, dressing rooms, and theatres…”
RUDZANI MATSHILI firstname.lastname@example.org
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