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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist


‘Tragic loss’ – Penny Lebyane mourns death of friend after disappearance

Steven Phiri’s family have opened a case of murder.


After sending out a call for assistance in finding a missing person earlier this week, media personality Penny Lebyane is now mourning the death of her friend, Steven Phiri.

“We asked for help yesterday. We senselessly lost our beloved Kopano Steven Phiri. A son, a brother and a friend.

“Thank you for your prayers and any form of assistance you shared with us. What an unreal 24 hours,” Lebyane wrote on her X account on Saturday after Phiri’s demise was confirmed.

The Citizen reached out to Lebyane for comment and the broadcaster said she was holding up, requesting to speak to Phiri’s family first before the media.

 Worst fears materialised

On Saturday Phiri’s family released a statement after days of searching for him.

“Despite our collective efforts and the public search instituted to locate him, the family now confirms that Steven has left us.

“A case of murder and missing vehicle have been opened with the police as we seek justice for this tragic loss.

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“We want to express our gratitude to everyone who contributed to the search for Steven, during this challenging time. Your support has been invaluable,” the family’s statement read.

Phiri’s family asked for prayers and more support in this difficult time.

“Details surrounding arrangements for Steven’s burial proceedings will be communicated to you at the earliest opportunity,” concluded the statement.

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A post shared by Penny Lebyane (@pennylebyane)

Penny mourning

“I don’t like whoever’s will this is,” wrote Lebyane in a post on her Instagram, laden with broken heart emjois.

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“l hate it for your moms, your sisters, your boys, us your girls, your girlfriend VTS (l was sure l will MC the wedding this year) and your partners in business the dreams, plans you had for and with them,” Lebyane captioned her Instagram post.

The post included images and videos of a recent holiday they went on in Cape Town.

“You taught us all so much about being in the moment, damn you lived in the moment my goodness, your calm demeanour ( l mean l had sea water in my eyes u just stood there like it’s not a crisis Kopano Steven Phiri) , your gentle gaze and all round care.”

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