‘Carte Blanche’ pro­ducer shot dead

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA ZWANE AND ILANIT CHERNICK @Zwane_2li2ls @Lanc_02

FAM­ILY and friends of Carte Blanche pro­ducer Jo­hann Botha are reel­ing af­ter he was gunned down at a pop­u­lar Joburg cul­tural precinct dur­ing a brazen rob­bery.

Botha was shot and killed at the Ze­bra Inn restau­rant and bar in Mabo­neng on Wed­nes­day night.

Four armed rob­bers, one of whom was a woman, stormed the es­tab­lish­ment, killing Botha, 53, and his friend, Werner Josef Pe­herch­told, 76, the owner of the Ze­bra Inn.

Gaut­eng po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant-Colonel Kay Makhubele said there were pa­trons in the restau­rant when the rob­bery oc­curred.

“Three men and a woman came into the restau­rant and pointed a firearm at the owner (Pe­herch­told) and his friend (Botha), de­mand­ing money,” Makhubele said.

He said the rob­bers fled the scene with two firearms and an undis­closed amount of cash.

Jo­hann’s older brother, Ru­dolph, said the fam­ily were dev­as­tated.

“A lot of peo­ple are hurt at the mo­ment. We are shocked by what hap­pened and how it hap­pened. We still don’t know (all the facts). “This is a hell of a loss, part of my life is gone,” said Ru­dolph, adding that their par­ents seemed to be tak­ing it quite well, which was sur­pris­ing for all of the chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, but he be­lieved this was be­cause the news hadn’t sunk in yet.

“He (Jo­hann) was an un­be­liev­able per­son that we are all go­ing to miss,” said Ru­dolph. He also re­counted how, when he went to fetch his brother’s doc­u­ments in Kens­ing­ton yes­ter­day morn­ing, a man gave him a bunch of flow­ers in hon­our of Jo­hann.

“I have never seen any­thing like this be­fore,” said Ru­dolph, also de­scrib­ing his brother as an “ex­tremely hon­est, loyal per­son who loved mu­sic and peo­ple”.

Apart from his du­ties as a pro­ducer, Jo­hann was an opera singer, pre­sen­ter of 50/50, ra­dio per­son­al­ity and an en­vi­ron­men­tal and in­ves­tiga­tive tele­vi­sion pro­ducer. He also worked on KykNet’s Pro­jek Aard­wolf.

Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of Carte Blanche, Ge­orge Mazarakis, said he was shat­tered. “I am dev­as­tated by the loss of Jo­hann.

“He was an ex­tremely ex­pe­ri­enced and highly re­spected tele­vi­sion pro­ducer.

“His death is an im­mense loss to Carte Blanche and to the tele­vi­sion in­dus­try as a whole,” Mazarakis said.

Pe­herch­told, also known as “Swazi Werner”, is sur­vived by his part­ner, Lu­cille. She was too dis­traught to speak. No ar­rests have been made.

‘Part of my life is gone,’ says brother

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