Celebrated tenor Deon Van Der Walt has been discovered dead from gunshot wounds at his home in South Africa. He was 47.

Police officials have speculated he was gunned down by his 78-year-old father, CHARLES, who subsequently turned the gun on himself.

Van der Walt has been hailed as one of South Africa's greatest operatic talents, singing at prestigious venues across Europe. Before his death he had been performing with the Zurich Opera in Switzerland.

He was discovered in his bedroom yesterday (29NOV05) with two gunshot wounds to his chest. His father was found in a separate bedroom with a single bullet wound to his head.

Pallo Jordan, South Africa's minister for arts and culture, praised Van der Walt as "sensitive and expressive".

He added, "He had a special gift. Those who knew him speak of his generosity and kindness."