Kwaito star to face the music

Nelspruit - After six years of trying to avoid Botswana's justice system on charges of killing a woman in a car accident, former TKZee star Tokollo Tshabalala has decided to face the music.

Tshabalala, or Magesh to his fans, says he had been afraid of standing trial in Botswana because the courts there impose the death sentence.

The Botswana government tried to get South Africa to extradite him. When the South African authorities received assurances that Tshabalala would not be given the death sentence, Tshabalala agreed to return.

But when he arrived in Gaborone last Tuesday, he was told the courts were closed as it was a public holiday and that his case was scheduled for October 30.

He faces charges of reckless driving and causing a death.

A relieved Tshabalala believes it has been God who has kept him out of a Botswana jail.

"Ja, I was ready to face the music, but God, ntanga (homey), did it again because (that) Tuesday happened to be a public holiday in Botswana," said Tshabalala.

He said he prays to God every morning and is confident that the Botswana courts will find him innocent.

Fateful accident

Tshabalala is reluctant to explain what happened on the fateful day of the accident.

Botswana police have accused him of speeding after they tried to stop him for ignoring a road sign in Mogoditshane village, outside Gaborone, in March 2001.

The say they gave chase and that when Tshabalala tried to overtake a car, he crashed head-on into an oncoming car, killing the driver, businesswoman Maria Monyatsi.

Chief prosecution counsel in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Botswana, Matlhogonolo Phutego, said 15 witnesses would testify.

Tshabalala hopes the case won't disrupt his plans to bring out his final album in December before a reunion with his former TKZee mates, Zwai Bala and Kabelo Mabalane, next year.

"I am praying to God that the case doesn't interrupt my plans for the festive season as this will be my final kwaito offering. I am getting old. I have a business to run and my dog to play with," said Tshabalala, while his dog, Moby, barked in the background.

"I have already done five hot tracks, ntanga, but I haven't named the album. Just give me three weeks and I will make an announcement," said Tshabalala.

Tshabalala said his record label, Soweto South Africa (Sosa), was also planning to release albums by Generations star Siphiwe Mtshali and his producer Jerah Mothusi before the end of the year.

He said he had other "big plans" but wasn't ready to make them public yet.

He ends the interview with some advice.

"God is great, ntanga. You must also try praying every morning. It feels good".

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