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Johannesburg - When Johnny Clegg’s manager Roddy Quin heard that Bongani Masuku had been shot dead, he was in shock. The shock was then replaced by anger.
“I was devastated, it was hard to believe. I got numb for a while and felt anger at the senselessness for the killing. So violent and senseless,” Quin said.
Masuku, Clegg’s long-time backing vocalist, was killed this weekend in an attempted hijacking in Troyeville. Masuku’s death resembles that of reggae star Lucky Dube, 43, who was shot and killed in a botched hijacking seven years ago.
Dube had parked his car on a street in Rosettenville where he was dropping off his children when he was attacked. His son was in the car when he was shot. He tried to drive off but crashed into a tree.
Just like Dube, 50-year-old Masuku had parked his car when he was accosted by four men who forced him out of his vehicle, demanding his cellphone and keys. He was with a passenger.
“A struggle ensued and the suspects fired several shots into his torso,” police spokeswoman Colonel Katlego Mogale said.
Afterwards, the men allegedly got into a minibus and sped off while Masuku climbed into his car and drove off to the nearby fire station where he collapsed and died. A case of murder has been opened.
Masuku, who had worked with Clegg for the past 22 years, was born in Eshowe and went to Zakhe High School in KwaMashu.
Clegg posted on Facebook on Sunday that he was shocked and deeply saddened by the killing.
He wrote: “Bongani first worked with Johnny Clegg and Savuka in 1992, and continued with the Johnny Clegg Band until the present time. He was a stalwart performer and hard-working musician and good friend.
“We will miss him deeply and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and all who knew him.”
Quin said Masuku was a lovely person who was gentle and quiet.
“I was just saying yesterday [Sunday] that in all the years that I have known Bongani, I have never heard him raise his voice or see him in a bad mood.
“He was so professional and easy to work with. I will miss his talent... his singing.
“The whole Johnny Clegg family will miss him.”
Masuku leaves behind his wife and four children.
While police are still looking for Masuku’s killers, Dube’s killers, S’fiso Mhlanga, Ludwe Gxowa and Mbuti Mabe, received life sentences.
Condolence messages flowed in on Twitter with fans expressing their sadness and disbelief at the killing.