ACTRESS Thandeka Mdeliswa’s death was not gender-based violence.

Her manager Nicholas Manyike said she died trying to protect her brother, following rumours that her partner had shot her.

“It’s not true that Thandeka died of gender-based violence. She died while trying to protect her brother, who was having an altercation with two guys.

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“When the guys wanted to shoot her brother, the bullet missed him and she was shot in the neck.”

He said the 34-year-old actress was taken to a hospital in Mpumalanga, but because her condition was critical, she was later transferred to a hospital in Gauteng.

“She was airlifted to a Pretoria hospital where she later died on Saturday. She was shot on Thursday,” he said.

“She was always on time and was always honest about something that she didn’t like. She was a kind person and she didn’t live far from me,”

Mpumalanga police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.

He said no one has been arrested yet, but they were closer to making arrests.

Thandeka’s colleagues and friends have paid tribute to her.

Sipho Mbele, who worked with her on iKani, told Daily Sun he was saddened by the news of her death.

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“It’s a great loss because she had just got a job on Mzansi Magic. We were talking about it last Saturday. I was a father figure to her. Florence Masebe and I were there for her, guiding her, because she was eager to make it big in the industry.”

Her friend Bakwateleni Jiyane described Thandeka as an honest person who loved her work. “She was always on time and was always honest about something that she didn’t like. She was a kind person and she didn’t live far from me,” she said.

Details of her funeral have not been revealed yet. SABC acting spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said the industry has been robbed of a young, talented and promising life, violently and senselessly taken away.

“We direct our prayers and heartfelt condolences to family, friends and colleagues.”