What began as a joyous birthday celebration took a harrowing turn as popular socialite Slyvester Mabuda, affectionately known as Sly, met a tragic end at the hands of ruthless assailants along the N4 Highway in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg.
Sly was celebrating his 30th birthday with friends in the VVIP section at the Jacaranda Lounge, where Jah Prayzah was performing. He even playfully asked a reporter to capture a picture for publication in H-Metro to “share” his birthday with the nation. Little did anyone know that it would be his final photograph.
In the company of renowned promoter Felistas Chizororo of CC Promotions, Sly enjoyed the evening’s festivities. However, tragedy struck after the Jah Prayzah show around 1 a.m. Sly and his best friend, Larry Mushope, were en route to their home in Pretoria when they encountered a nightmarish ordeal.
Mushope recounted the harrowing experience, stating, “When we left, there was nothing amiss. We had driven about 20 kilometers when we sensed an issue with the rear tire. The situation became dire as the car was essentially running on the rim. We sought assistance from some friends, and suddenly, three men emerged from the darkness. They were wielding guns and knives, breaking empty bottles menacingly.”
“Two of them violently targeted Sly, while one approached me. We were subjected to brutal assaults. They thoroughly searched us, confiscating everything, including our phones and wallets. Sly’s possessions were also taken before they disappeared into the bushes. I was disoriented for a while but eventually regained consciousness. Sly informed me that he had been injured during the altercation and was in pain. I hobbled across the road to a nearby complex to seek help. We returned with the security guard from the complex, but Sly had tragically passed away.”
The area where the incident occurred is notorious for crime, with the community protesting the rising number of homicides. Criminals often scatter metal spikes on the road to deflate tires, and when motorists stop, they become vulnerable to attacks. This is the same township where Zimbabwean Elvis Nyathi was tragically burnt to death by a xenophobic mob in April of the previous year.
Law enforcement and forensic experts responded to the scene, and investigations are ongoing. Preliminary reports suggest that Sly may have succumbed to a stab wound, although other accounts suggest a gunshot wound. A post-mortem examination was scheduled for the following day.
Sly’s untimely demise has left a void in the entertainment industry. He was known for his unwavering support for Zimbabwean artists, frequently attending events with his friends to show his support. Sly leaves behind two children, and his family has arrived in Pretoria to make funeral arrangemenr.