A storm has erupted over the death of Robert ‘Kicks’ Varrie, who was accused of being a drug dealer and interrogated during the filming of the popular anti-drug TV show, Sizokuthola. According to a report in City Press, Varrie was declared dead after being interrogated during filming and then dropped off at the Thelle Mogoerane regional hospital in Vosloorus last week.
Confirmation of Incident by Police and Show Spokesperson
The incident has been confirmed by both the police and a spokesperson for the show, which is broadcast on Sundays under the umbrella of Moja LOVE. In response to the media report implicating the popular show’s host, Xolani Khumalo, in the “mysterious death”, Moja LOVE spokesperson Nonzwakazi Cekete said they were busy investigating the circumstances surrounding Varrie’s death.
Investigation into Circumstances Surrounding Death
Cekete stated that the crew had attended a drug bust in Katlehong township on Wednesday last week. They had gone with “community law enforcement groups recognized by the police” and were acting on “credible and verifiable information”. According to Cekete, Varrie had initially resisted arrest, but had then agreed to hand over drugs in his possession.
Moja LOVE’s Statement
“While Moja LOVE can confirm that the crew was in the vicinity of the premises while Varrie was being questioned, the channel is still investigating the circumstances that led to him having to allegedly be rushed to hospital. We will wait for the official autopsy results for the cause of death,” Cekete said. She added that the show works with law enforcement agencies and was cooperating with authorities.
Show Presenter Xolani Khumalo
Show presenter Khumalo shot to prominence as the face of Sizokuthola — an anti-drug show that began airing on DStv channel 157 in January this year. It is a reality show that features him chasing down alleged drug dealers.
The police have confirmed that a murder investigation was opened at Vosloorus police station and transferred to Katlehong North police station. Spokesperson Mavela Masondo said no arrests had been made.
In an interview with City Press, Varrie’s partner reported witnessing the Sizokuthola crew and armed men wearing masks holding him down. She identified the men as Gauteng Patrollers, popularly known as amapanyaza. She said her boyfriend had been suffocated and pepper-sprayed.
Moja LOVE’s Condolences
Cekete said Moja LOVE had sent their condolences to Varrie’s family.
Full Story Source: Alleged drug dealer dies in filmed drug bust