Cruel hoax claimed Thandiswa also killed

Gugu Sibiya and Pumza Fihlani

Gugu Sibiya and Pumza Fihlani

A hoax e-mail claiming that singer Thandiswa Mazwai had died - only hours after news of the death of Lebo Mathosa broke yesterday morning - choked phone lines and sent the entertainment industry and the media into a frenzy.

The e-mail, sent to the news agency Sapa at 7am yesterday, said Mazwai had been shot dead by a jealous boyfriend.

News of the "tragedy" sent the media on a wild-goose chase. There were reports of people "dissolving into rivers of tears".

The hullabaloo finally ended yesterday afternoon when it was confirmed that the singer was alive.

When Sowetan finally caught up with the distraught singer, on her way home from a holiday in Cape Town, she said the hoax was "insensitive".

"Right now I am broken hearted about losing one of my closest friends.

"Then someone spreads insensitive rumours about me dying.

"This has deflected attention from the death of Lebo and the grief her family must be going through.

"They are instead talking about me and I think that is the most cruel deed anyone could do," Mazwai said.

Mazwai's recording company, Gallo, said: "The e-mail regarding Thandiswa Mazwai's death is absolutely unfounded and untrue.

"The police say they are not investigating because Thandiswa has not laid charges with them."