South Africa News

Alleged drug dealer dies in filmed drug bust

A storm has erupted over the death of a man who was accused of being a drug dealer and interrogated during the filming of a popular anti-drug TV show.

Robert ‘Kicks’ Varrie was declared dead after being interrogated during the filming of Sizokuthola and then dropped off at the Thelle Mogoerane regional hospital in Vosloorus last week, according to a report in City Press.

The incident has been confirmed by the police and a spokesperson for the show, which is broadcast on Sundays under the umbrella of Moja LOVE.

Responding to the media report implicating the popular show’s host Xolani Khumalo in the “mysterious death”, Moja LOVE spokesperson Nonzwakazi Cekete said they were busy investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man identified as a suspected drug dealer and who had died during the filming of Sizokuthola.

She said the crew had attended a drug bust in Katlehong township on Wednesday last week. They had gone with “community law enforcement groups recognised by the police” and were acting on “credible and verifiable information”.

According to Cekete, Varrie had initially resisted arrest, but had then agreed to hand over drugs in his possession.

“While Moja LOVE can confirm that the crew was in the vicinity of the premises while the deceased was being questioned, the channel is still investigating the circumstances that led to the deceased having to allegedly be rushed to hospital. We will wait for the official autopsy results for the cause of death,” she said.

She said the show works with law enforcement agencies, and was co-operating with authorities.

Show presenter Khumalo shot to prominence as the face of Sizokuthola — an anti-drug show that began airing on DStv channel 157 in January this year. It is a reality show that features him chasing down alleged drug dealers.

The police have confirmed that a murder investigation was opened at Vosloorus police station and transferred to Katlehong North police station. Spokesperson Mavela Masondo said no arrests had been made.

In an interview with City Press, Varrie’s partner reported witnessing the Sizokuthola crew and armed men wearing masks holding him down. She identified the men as Gauteng Patrollers, popularly known as amapanyaza. She said her boyfriend had been suffocated and pepper-sprayed.

Cekete said Moja LOVE had sent their condolences to the family.

In other news – Azania Mosaka replaces Dineo Ranaka on Kaya FM

Azania Mosaka will replace Dineo Ranaka on Kaya FM, 2 weeks after she was sacked. According to Sunday World, Azania will be the new Afternoon Drive show host from August, replacing Sizwe Dhlomo who stood in for Dineo when she was off radio due to her mental health.

Dhlomo has reportedly moved to the breakfast slot, which was co-hosted by Ranaka and Sol Phenduka. Meanwhile, it’s also reported by a Twitter user that Mosaka is an ex-lover of Sizwe. Read More

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