Fri Sep 22 13:48:20 SAST 2017

Pain at death tears family apart

By Patience Bambalele | 2017-05-19 09:59:57.0

The differences in the slain Jozi FM DJ Mandla Hlatshwayo's family played itself out at the memorial service yesterday in Soweto.

Hlatshwayo, who also featured in Generations, and his friend Oupa Duma were shot dead in Pimville, Soweto, on Sunday night while they were reportedly trying to help two women who were being mugged outside a pub.

Hlatshwayo's daughter, Bonolo, dropped the bombshell this week when she told Sowetan that her family were being sidelined by the Hlatshwayos.

The teenager accused the family of choosing Mandla's nyatsi, Mami, over her mother Amanda, who was married to the slain DJ.

Amanda sat in the middle of the Protea South Multi Purpose Centre during the service yesterday, while Bonolo sat with her uncles.

The Hlatshwayo family, including Mandla's sister Maggie, sat in the front row along with principal mourner Mami.

An emotional Bonolo fought back the tears when she heard her father's voice recording being played. But she became angry when Hlatshwayo's friends kept referring to Mami as the wife, saying: "How dare they disrespect my mother?"

When a letter written by Mami to Hlatshwayo was about to be read, she walked out crying and was comforted by family members.

But generally the family, friends and followers of Hlatshwayo were in a celebratory mood as they listened to the eulogy of Mandla.

The hall was also filled by enthusiastic listeners of Jozi FM who sang choruses such as Ha Ayo Mathata to kick start the programme. Some of the celebrities in attendance were Hlatshwayo's colleagues at Jozi FM, DJ Cleo, Winnie Khumalo, Scelo Hlophe and Tshepo Maseko.

Jozi FM presenter Lungile Masondo said Hlatshwayo lived through music and would be sent off through it. The station's programme manager, Tshepo Makgope, said Hlatshwayo was a dedicated and hard-working man.

Hlatshwayo's funeral will be held tomorrow, starting at 8am, at the same venue.