South African theatre legend and Afrikaans Idols
judge Taliep Petersen
was shot dead during a robbery of his home in Athlone, Cape Town on Saturday night, according to various press reports.
According to police Petersen answered a knock on his door at around 23h45 on Saturday evening and was overwhelmed by a gang of armed men.
The men robbed the family of various personal belongings like cellphones and watches, before locking them in their bedrooms.
Petersen was then allegedly taken through to the living room where he was secured with tie-strips to a chair before being robbed of money and his cellphone.
He was then shot once through the neck. The men fled in an unmarked vehicle and are still at large, although a massive manhunt is underway.
Police have not indicated yet whether Petersen's murder was related to death threats he received
prior to appearing on the reality show Afrikaans Idols in May this year.
His wife was held up at gunpoint outside their house in May, while Petersen was in Namibia helping audition Idols hopefuls. He also received death threats on his phone, ordering him not to appear on the show.
Despite the threats Petersen decided to continue with the show and was a judge on it until it ended in August.
Although Petersen worked as an actor and musician in his early career, it was when he teamed up with David Kramer in 1986 to make the musical District Six that he hit the big time.
He went on to forge a 20-year partnership with Kramer which would realise five musicals - District Six: The Musical, Musical Poison, Fairyland, Kat and the Kings and Ghoema.
Kat And The Kings toured internationally, having runs on London's West End and New York's Broadway to critical acclaim. Ghoema recently opened in London.
Petersen also wrote the television musical sitcom Alie Barber, which aired on kykNET and M-Net for two seasons. He presented the shows O'se Distrik Ses and Joltyd on kykNET as well.
The police have opened a case of murder and anyone with information can contact Athlone police on 021-697-9238/39/40 or Crime Stop on 08600-10111.