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Trevor Noah’s gran addresses ‘cousin’ debacle

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Comedian Trevor Noah’s grandmother has denied media reports claiming a relative was murdered and buried in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.

“They don’t know each other; we ourselves [as a family] don’t know that person,” Nomalizo Noah told News24.

The 88-year-old showed visible signs of frustration as she snapped at the mention of an article published in the Sunday Times, which claimed she had been emotional when talking about the death of Cebisile Happiness Khoza who was found murdered in a village near Wasbank.

The article claimed she believed the women in her family were cursed.

She reportedly told the publication she received news of Khoza’s death in a phone call from a relative in Pietermaritzburg. “How do you explain this?” she reportedly asked. “It is a curse, I believe the family is cursed.”

She was then quoted as saying Trevor and the murdered student had not been close as they lived in different provinces, but that they knew each other.

But on Sunday night, Trevor tweeted, “Thanks to some crafty journalism my family and I have spent the whole day trying to figure out which one of us died #awkward”.

On Monday, Nomalizo echoed her grandson’s sentiments. “He’s telling the truth, even I don’t know that person. I was surprised.

“They are just creating stories out of – [nowhere] now they want to use Trevor and I on their front pages? It’s silly,” she said.

Although she had many relatives living in KwaZulu-Natal, there had been no funeral at the weekend that she was aware of.

“I don’t even know Wasbank [a town in Umzinyathi District Municipality]. My relatives are right at Margate, the ones in Durban are the ones who are working there.”

She said her children, including Noah’s mother, Patricia, had warned her to turn journalists away when they came to her Soweto home.

“Just now my kids called me saying ‘Send those reporters away! Don’t speak to them anymore because they are writing lies’.”


The comedian had also asked his mother to ask her to stop speaking to reporters.

“Tell granny not to talk to all these reporters because they are making news out of nothing,” he had told his mother, she said.

She said her grandson’s fame was his and she did not want any part of it.

“I am so sick of reporters because they interview me about one thing, and then in the papers they write something else. I am tired of these reporters. Give me a break, please give me some space. I am sick and tired.”

The Sunday Times was not immediately reachable for comment.

The newspaper reported that Khoza had disappeared a day after travelling from her hometown of Msinga to Greytown, where she was preparing for a ceremony to receive her postgraduate certificate in education. Her burnt body was later found in a sugar-cane field by farmworkers. She had also been stabbed several times.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, Thulani Zwane, confirmed to News24 the death of Cebisile Happiness Khoza but said on Monday morning that he had no knowledge of any family link to Noah. News24

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