South African theatre personality shot dead in robbery

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The Independent Online

A popular Cape Town theatre personality was shot dead during an armed robbery at his home, police said yesterday.

Taliep Petersen apparently opened the door late on Saturday to the criminals, who robbed other family members of their possessions and locked them in their bedrooms, police spokesman Billy Jones said, according to the South African Press Association.

The gunmen killed Petersen, 56, in the living room and fled, the report said.

Petersen studied music in Britain in 1979 and was so inspired by the West End shows that he wrote a revue based on his memories of New Year in Cape Town's District Six - a bohemian area cleared of all nonwhites under apartheid.

In 1986, Petersen co-wrote a musical titled "District Six," which was staged in London.

He co-wrote another six musicals: "Fairyland," "Crooners," "Poison," "Klop Klop," "Kat" and "the Kings and Ghoema," and contributed to a television series about the history of District Six.

Tributes poured in to the slain man.

"Peterson has made an enormous contribution to South African theatre," the main opposition party Democratic Alliance said. "His death leaves a giant void in our theatre industry."

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