South African theatre director and TV personality TALIEP PETERSEN was murdered during a robbery at his home on Saturday night (16DEC06). He was 56. Petersen was tied up and shot in the neck at his home in the Cape Town suburb Athlone - armed men had already robbed six families in the district of mobile phones, money and electrical equipment. Petersen, who appeared on South African TV talent contest IDOLS, produced and directed a string of hit musicals including DISTRICT SIX, KAT AND THE KINGS and GHOEMA; and had taken his productions to London, New York and Los Angeles. The news of Petersen's murder has been met with shock and disbelief across South Africa, with Western Cape Premier EBRAHIM RASOOL saying the country had lost "one of the great gifts of our community to the nation". He added, "He was able to capture our entire history, express our deepest pain, articulate our joy, and demonstrate our humanity through music and drama."