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WATCH | 'Transfer R10m to her family': Ike Khumalo 'hijacks' Deborah Fraser memorial, slams government

19 May 2022 - 17:04
A memorial service for gospel star Deborah Fraser was held in Johannesburg on Thursday.
A memorial service for gospel star Deborah Fraser was held in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Image: Oupa Bopape

Controversial advocate Ike Khumalo interrupted the memorial service of the late gospel star Deborah Fraser to slam the department of sport, arts and culture and insist it transfers R10m to support her family. 

Deborah died on Sunday surrounded by loved ones after a short illness.

Friends and family took to the podium at the House of Treasures Ministries in Rispark, Johannesburg South, on Thursday to celebrate the life of the star. They spoke of her kindness towards all she met and pledged to support her family, including her children, and recounted how much she and her music meant to them.

Khumalo interrupted a planned address by a representative of the department of arts & culture by taking to the stage to ask where the department was when the star was struggling.

Khumalo was arrested for allegedly inciting public violence relating to the unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last year. He earlier this year represented Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini after the Operation Dudula leader's arrest.

Mentioning the controversial R22m 'monumental flag' proposed by the department, Khumalo said some of the money should be given to Fraser's family.

“They will make promises but it is easy to transfer money. Let them take R10m today and transfer it to the family of Deborah Fraser,” he said.

He said he could not sit among mourners “as if it is normal” while he heard from “this government that never respected Deborah Fraser”.

He said he was angry that “an artist of Deborah’s calibre had been fighting”.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Khumalo said he spoke out because he knew Deborah's struggles and how she died fighting for artists' rights when the department seemingly did not care.

"They often speak at artists' funerals but during their struggle they are nowhere to be seen".

The multi-award-winning musician fell ill on the way to a gig earlier this year and was admitted to hospital.

“I was unconscious, even the artists that came there said I should be transported to hospital,” a wheelchair-bound Deborah told TshisaLIVE a few weeks ago.

The star was set to go into rehabilitation before her death,

“I still cannot walk. I think it’s because I was in bed for a long time, but I don’t know for sure. It’s stressful to live a life you’re not used to. I’m asking for love, I’m asking for prayers.”

She will be buried in her home province of KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday. A funeral service at The Station Venue in Durban will start at 9am, followed by a gravesite ceremony at Lala Kahle Cemetery in Hillcrest.


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