Musician was 'caught in web of drugs'

2001-02-18 16:19

Johannesburg - Piano wizard Moses Taiwa Molelekwa, who died this week under a cloud of controversy, appears to have been trapped in a web of drugs, a stormy marriage and financial problems.

He was found hanging from a piano cord tied to a beam in their downtown Johannesburg office. His wife Florece was found dead on the floor close by.

A police spokesperson, Inspector Mary Martins-Engelbrecht, told City Press: "We are investigating a possible murder and a suicide.

"There were no signs of forced entry at their offices. Police have collected all the necessary evidence from the scene.

"The woman's body was half naked when the police arrived on the scene. It will take four weeks to three months before the police can release postmortem result," she said.

Contraty to the police statement, family spokesperson Reggy Zikalala, said on Friday the postmortem results would be available on Tuesday.

Molelekwa and Mthoba were briefly separated at the time of their deaths but had hoped to move into their new home in Emmarentia outside JOhannesburg later this month.

Speculation about the couple's tempestuous relationship was further fuelled by talk of an impass between the two families, who met this week at a meeting arranged by mediators to resolve their seemingly unbridgeable differences about funeral arrangements.

The Mthoba family made it clear their daughter would be laid to rest at the Westbury cemetery, while BoMolelekwa insist on his native township of Tembisa, about 40km east of Johannesburg.

On Friday morning the family addressed a press conference to try and end speculation that Molelekwa's death was "organised" at the World of Beer Club in Newtown. The Molelekwas, however, did not turn up at what was supposed to be a joint press conference.

In a bid to resolve the feud between the two families, a high-powered meeting was held with representatives from both failies, including diva Sibongile Khumalo, Lintswe Mokgatle, mayor of Hamogale (formerly Krugersdorp) and president of the Musicians' Union of South Africa, as well as Maishe Maponya, a cultural worker and official in Guateng's housing department.

It has come to City Press's attention that over the past few months Molelekwas had been seen in the company of young kwaito musicians known for using drugs.

An insider told City Press that Moses had "regularly been taking hard drugs with these guys."

"There is also talk that the feud between him and Flo was a result of him demanding cash for the drugs," an informant said.

Among the items picked up from the ramshackle office were banknotes that were found strewn across the floor.

City Press understands the Molelekwas have since ransacked the office without consultng the Mthoba family.

Sources close to the couple told City Press that Molelekwa had plunged into a deep financial crisis because of his need to pay for his new drug habit, and because of alleged negligence by some people promoting him.

A devastated Selalelo Selota said this week he was aware of the "extreme pressure" Molelekwa was under.

Selota, who himself admitted to being under pressure, said he regrets not approaching Molelekwa to talk about the problem. Although Selota never divulged details, insiders confirm the "pressures" to which he referred resulted from a lack of money. Apparently Moses hated being dependent on Flo, who worked with the Gauteng Sport, Recreationg and Culture Department, where she was an assitant director. Flo had dedicated her life to the development of arts and culture.

Peter Tladi of T Musicman told City Press early in the week he was close to signing Molelekwa for his independent Bula Records.

The galiant gentleman of jazz, Hug Masekela, state on Gauteng regional radio station Khaya FM that had his newly-formed organisation, Musicians and Artist Assistance Programme of South Africa, been formed earlier, Molelekwa's life would have been saved.

Although he refused to elaborate on the death of Molelekwa yesterday when he was approached for comment, Masekela explained that his organisation "will accept musicians and ordinary people. It will deal with trauma, addiction and spousal abuse, It is a referral organisation that we would like to make accessable to everyone."

A memoral service organised by musician, in conjunction with the families of the deceased, will be held at Mega Music in Newtown on Tuesday.