Those close to Kuli Roberts 'won’t be drawn on speculation’ around her death

12 February 2022 - 11:57
By Joy Mphande
Media personality and actress Kuli Roberts died on Wednesday.
Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape)
Image: Oupa Bopape Media personality and actress Kuli Roberts died on Wednesday. Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape)

Kuli Robert's close friend Nyaniso Bhengu has refused to be drawn on speculation surrounding her death this week.

The 49-year-old died on Wednesday evening. Another close friend told TshisaLIVE she spoke to Roberts just hours before her death and she seemed “drowsy”. 

Amid the flood of tributes, some on social media have speculated about the cause of Kuli's death.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Nyaniso said Kuli suffered a seizure or similar attack on the set of a shoot, but said any further details surrounding her death could not be confirmed until an autopsy has been finalised. 

He said he was with Kuli on Wednesday morning and she invited him to a shoot in Kyalami, north of Johannesburg she was part of that evening. He turned down the invitation but was in contact with her when she arrived.

“She called me when she got to the studio. They started doing her makeup and she said, 'talk to you later'.”

About an hour later Nyaniso got a call telling him that Kuli was having a seizure, or similar attack, after complaining she felt dizzy

“I asked: 'what do you mean? Because she was fine. She doesn’t have any condition.' I told them I was on my way but they told me not to panic because the paramedics have it all under control.”

When he arrived with one of Kuli's family members, police and an ambulance were on the scene. 

“As we walked in I could already see there was a cloth on the floor and they broke the news to us that they had tried to resuscitate her.

“She was 100% [earlier]," he said.

Nyaniso said those close to her were “anxiously waiting” for a report on the cause of her death, and he would not be drawn on the speculation surrounding her passing.

“People like speculating but I want to keep it positive. People are speculating saying: 'Was she this or that?' I don't know. She was in high spirits as always. She was Kuli. She was healthy.”

When approached for comment, a family spokesperson referred TshisaLIVE to a statement they issued on Thursday and repeated their call for privacy.

“We humbly request that you respect our need for privacy, as we go through this difficult period of grieving and healing. We ask that you please keep us in your prayers.

“The Roberts and Mboya family are deeply thankful for the countless personal messages of love and support received thus far. These are appreciated,” the statement read.

Details of her memorial service and funeral will be confirmed in due course.

Kuli grabbed headlines and adoration in a career spanning several decades. 

She acted in several productions, most recently in the Netflix original movie Angeliena.

The media personality cemented her name in the entertainment industry as a co-host on What Not To Wear, Real Goboza, Trending SA and on Kaya959's breakfast show with late legendary broadcaster Bob Mabena and comedian Skhumba. 

She also worked as a journalist at Fair Lady, DRUM, YOU and Sunday World.

She is survived by her two children, her grandchild, her parents and three siblings.