Fitting tribute to gospel star

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A music academy in honour of the late member of the gospel group Ithemba is to be established in Durban.

This was announced by KwaZulu-Natal premier S'bu Ndebele during the funeral service of Philani "Amen" Mkhanyawo held at the Menzi High School sports ground in Umlazi, Durban, at the weekend.

Ndebele said the provincial government will assist in forming the Ithemba Music Academy as a fitting tribute to Mkhanyawo, 33, whom he described as a role model to the youth.

Mkhanyawo, a founding member of Ithemba, was shot several times at his home in N-Section Umlazi. He fell victim to a gang which is also suspected of raping six girls on the same night of Mkhanyawo's murder.

A 19-year-old girl, who was at the house when Mkhanyawo was killed, was also raped during the attack and has been receiving medical treatment and counselling.

"The senseless death of this gifted and talented man, in the prime of his life is callous and unnecessary," said Ndebele.

"Amen, as he was fondly known, was focused and a go-getter. His brutal killing is, yet, another blow to our society."

Police said the suspects are still at large.