Murdered Sibongiseni Gabada was key member of the 'Zola 7' team

15 June 2020 - 15:27
Musician and actor Zola is shattered by Sibongiseni Gabada's death.
Image: Instagram/Real Zola 7 Musician and actor Zola is shattered by Sibongiseni Gabada's death.

Musician and actor Zola is devastated by the death of Sibongiseni Gabada whose body was found stuffed into a sports bag. 

The musician, real name Bonginkosi Dlamini, worked with Gabada, 36, during the last season of his show, Zola 7. The television show, presented by Zola, aired on SABC1 between 2002 and 2010. It helped young people realise their dreams.

Gabada had been missing for two weeks when her body was found outside the shack of a person who was close to her on May 29 in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. 

“I was actually with her when I resigned from my show,” Zola told TimesLIVE on Monday. After that most of my crew, including her, had to find work elsewhere. Maybe things would have turned out differently. She handled my office and all my social media [accounts].”

Zola said he had mentored Gabada. 

“I took her to all my meetings as a trainee until she was strong enough to be given some of the big Zola7 responsibilities eventually,” said Zola. 

He sang her praises.

“She was dedicated to the opportunities she got and worked very hard. She had big dreams and one could tell she came from a background of values and tradition and she was going somewhere,” he said.

“She was also unmistakably a very proudly Xhosa, and when she did not know she was not afraid to ask. At times you could say she was our feminine eye and you could say she was one of the boys when we took her on tour.”

Zola said he was shattered by her death. 

“There'll never be days like free Fridays when the crew would be in my house. She loved making food and organising everything. We would cry and laugh together,” he said.

“All 30 or so of us would sit around the fire and reflect on the hard and sweet emotions of whatever work put us through that week. It’s very important for people to know that she was not just a Jimmy goes to Jozi, but found her footing here. 

NgesiZulu sithi dudu kumndeni wakhe, bazi ngakithi eGoli uSibo uyibekile induku ebandla as for her naughty giggles when she was in trouble with me? Now that was priceless.”

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Sithembele Klaas appeared at the Khayelitsha magistrate's court on Monday, charged with Gabada's murder.

“His case has been postponed to July 15 2020 for bail application. He is in custody.”