A drug overdose is suspected in the death of television and radio presenter Pearl Shongwe.
Shongwe, a news reader on Tbo Touch’s afternoon drive show, Touch Down, was found dead at her home in Polofields north of Joburg in Gauteng in November last year.
The Daily Thetha presenter, was found lying prostrate in her bed by her family and complex security guards who gained access by forcing open a window from her bedroom.
Her untimely death, which sent shock waves across the country, left a legion of fans suspecting foul play as the sultry media icon did not look indisposed before passing on.
Sunday World can today reveal that the detectives who are investigating her death have ruled out foul play and are instead investigating a possible drug overdose after confiscating a sizeable quantity of drugs from her unit in Waterfall.
“We suspect drug overdose because we have found drugs in her bedroom when we were combing the house for possible leads to her death,” said the detective, who did not want to be identified because internal police procedure prohibits them from speaking to the media without permission.
Talking about her death, the detective said they had received a call from Shongwe’s family and ADT security guards, who found her lifeless body in her bedroom.
When they arrived, Shongwe’s family and the guards told them that they had forced entry into her unit by removing her bedroom window when she failed to open the door after calling on her to unlock it.
“They found her motionless body lying face down in her bed,” said the detective.
The cop said Gauteng Emergency Medical Services employee Kamo Ramaitlane arrived at the former SABC2 newsreader’s house and examined her body.
“The personnel declared her dead on the scene. The drugs were confiscated and will be sent to the laboratory for further investigations,” said the officer.
Another cop said a blood sample was drawn from Shongwe’s body to determine if she had used drugs before her death.
The cop also said they had requested CCTV footage to check who the last person was who entered her unit before her death.
“We are doing so because it is also possible that someone might have killed her and left drugs there to cover up their evil deeds. But all that will be determined by a preliminary autopsy report, which we will get in two weeks’ time,” said the detective.
The cop’s version of events was corroborated by a short police statement this newspaper has seen. The statement reads in part: “The motive for her death is unknown. Further investigation is underway to establish the cause of death.”
Drugs were also found inside “her’ unit”, reads the statement.
Sunday World has learnt that police are still awaiting a toxicologist report, which will reveal the cause of her death.
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