Backing singer for Johnny Clegg shot dead in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - A backing singer for South Africa's Johnny Clegg, a musician internationally renowned as the 'White Zulu', has been shot dead in a robbery, police said Sunday.

Bongani Masuku, who was killed in Johannesburg on Saturday night, is the second member of Clegg's band to have been murdered in South Africa, which has a reputation as one of the most violent countries in the world.

"It is with shock, anger and deep felt sadness that we mourn the violent killing last night of our beloved Bongani Masuku, our long standing and dedicated backing vocalist," Clegg said on his website.

"Bongani first worked with Johnny Clegg and Savuka in 1992, and continued with Johnny Clegg Band until the present time. He was a stalwart performer and hardworking musician and good friend.

"We will miss him deeply and we extend our heart felt condolences to his family and all who knew him."

Police Lt-Col Katlego Mogale said four men approached Masuku as he was parking his car in Johannesburg on Saturday night and demanded a cellphone and his car keys at gun point.

A struggle ensued and one of the men shot Masuku several times before fleeing.

"The deceased then managed to drive himself to a nearby fire station where he collapsed and died," Mogale said.

Masuku is the second member of Clegg's band to have died violently: Dudu Zulu, a close friend and percussionist in his first group Savuka, was shot dead in Kwazulu Natal in 1992. Clegg later dedicated the song 'The Crossing' to him.