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Some sad news today: South African director producer Taliep Petersen has been murdered in his home.
Armed men broke into his home in the Cape Town suburb of Athlone, tied him up and shot him in the neck.
Taliep, 56, directed and produced many musicals, including District Six, Kat and the Kings, and Ghoema.
Armed men shot Taliep at his home after robbing six other family members of mobile phones and locking them in their bedrooms, the South African Press Association (Sapa) said.
The assailants then took Taliep to the living room where they shot him and escaped with his phone, cash and electronic equipment, Sapa said.
Together with his artistic partner David Kramer, Petersen produced a string of hit productions, some of which have been staged internationally in New York, Los Angeles and London.
Die Burger reports that an emotional Kramer described his horror when he heard the news of his best friend's death in London early on Sunday.
Kramer and his wife Renaye are in London with 10 actors and musicians for the London season of the Kramer-Petersen musical hit Ghoema.
He said Nicolas Kent, artistic director of Tricycle Theatre, woke him and his wife with the news at about 01:00 on Sunday.
"Getting news like that, the first reaction is absolute shock.
"You can't comprehend it immediately.
"Then a numb feeling overwhelms you. "It's only later that you begin to realise what has happened. We made music together."
Orphan child, Karoo blues by David Kramer
South Africa's premier and most enduring musical partnership, between Kramer and Pietersen, stretches back over 20 years to the bittersweet musical hit District Six, which was first performed in 1986.
"Taliep was my best friend. He took me into his confidence and I confided in him. We were very close," said Kramer, very near tears.
Kramer and Petersen last saw each other shortly before Petersen left by air on Wednesday, after visiting London last Monday for the opening night of Ghoema.
Kramer said Taliep wanted to stay longer but was unable to get a later booking home.
No London performances of Ghoema will be cancelled, and the season will end as planned on Jannuary 22.
Taliep was was still working when he was murdered, appearing as a judge on the Afrikaans version of the TV talent show Idols. He release his first Afrikaans album earlier this year.
"I'm a workaholic, involved in a zillion things. I come from a hard space in time, remember - I'm a proud child of District Six," Mr Petersen said in a 2005 interview with a South African newspaper.
"I played in white clubs and had to enter through the back door, and I wasn't allowed to mingle with the crowd."
See some gorgeous footage of the area, District Six, where Taliep Petersencame from, and for which he wrote one of his most famous plays.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
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