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Monday, 3 June, 2002, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Ladysmith's son in court for murder
Nellie and Joseph Shabalala
The Shabalalas had been married since 1974
The son of Joseph Shabalala, the leader of band Ladysmith Black Mambazo, has appeared in court in connection with the murder of his father's wife, reports South Africa's Independent newspaper website.

This came as Joseph Shabalala was preparing to play at a concert in London for Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee.


My son loved his mother. They were very close

Joseph Shabalala
Some family members have reportedly said that the star of Ladysmith Black Mambazo should still be in mourning for his wife, who was shot dead a fortnight ago and criticised him for attending the concert in Buckingham Palace.

Nkosinathi Shabalala, 42, was not asked to plead and was remanded in custody until Wednesday by the Pinetown Magistrate's Court, outside Durban.

Murder charges were dropped against another man, Sabelo Ngidi.

Family feud

Nellie Shabalala, 49, was shot dead outside her home in Claremont, Durban, on 15 May, and Joseph suffered a hand wound when he tried to intervene.

Shortly after the murder, Joseph Shabalala was reported as saying that he believed his wife had been the victim of a hired gunman and that the motive was jealousy.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo
The band is performing in London on Monday

According to sources close to the investigation, a family feud involving money was believed to be the motive for the murder.

Nkosinathi Shabalala, a member of the group White Mambazo, was arrested on Thursday at his home in Pinetown in connection with the murder of his step-mother.

Joseph Shabalala expressed disbelief at his son's arrest as he was preparing to travel to London.

"This came as a shock to my family. I don't know how the police linked him to the murder because he is a peace-loving Christian. My son loved his mother. They were very close," he told the City Press.

Reward

Police had offered a reward of 50,000 Rand (about 3,500) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

Captain Neville Eva said his Durban South Task team had worked non-stop on the case up to Nkosinathi Shabalala's arrest.

"A breakthrough came after we received information from members of the community, and the R50,000 reward will be paid, if a conviction is secured, to those who gave us the information," Captain Eva told the Independent.

The Shabalalas had been married for 28 years.

Nellie Shabalala, who has created her own band, Women of Mambazo, was also the founding member of the Church of God in Africa.

Investigating officer Ndumiso Ngcobo said more people would be arrested in connection with Mrs Shabalala's murder, but he did not say whether they were related to the family.


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03 Jun 02 | Entertainment
28 Apr 01 | Entertainment
07 May 02 | Africa
02 Nov 01 | Africa
12 Sep 01 | Africa
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