Tragedy has struck the family of South African comedian Trevor Noah who is due to take over as host of the Comedy Central’s The Daily Show in the United States.
Noah’s cousin has been brutally murdered in KwaZulu-Natal.
Police are investigating the slaying but no arrests have been made.
This is the second time the family of the highly-successful Sowetan-born comedian has fallen victim to rampant criminality in South Africa.
In 2009, Trevor Noah’s stepfather shot his mother three times in a violent rage.
A bullet narrowly missed her spine and she survived.
Noah’s cousin Cebisile Happiness Khoza was travelling from her hometown in South Africa’s east coast province to her graduation ceremony.
When she did not arrive, a search ensued and farmworkers found her burnt body in a sugarcane field.
She had been stabbed several times.
Khoza had begun writing her mother’s cellphone number in the dust when she died.
Noah’s grandmother, Nomalizo Noah, says the incidents make her feel that the women in her family are cursed.
Landing the prestigious US talk show slot vacated by Jon Stewart is a huge coup for Noah.
South Africans have celebrated the 31-year-old’s celebrity status as he rubbed shoulders with comedy stars like Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David.