UPDATE: Actor Patrick Shai 'took his own life', body discovered by his wife

Police claims the late actor Patrick Shai took his own life and his body was discovered by his wife in the garage of his Dobsonville home on Saturday morning.

Shai's family released a statement confirming his death to another publication.

“It is with great sadness to announce the passing of the veteran actor Ntate Patrick Shai. He passed away this morning (January 22 2022).

“We sincerely ask you to give the family time to process this painful loss. More details will be shared in due course,” read the family statement.

The same publication is in possession of a SAPS communication in which police allege Shai took his own life and was discovered by his wife, Mmasechaba Shai.

The communication states Mmasechaba found her husband “hanging” in the garage and she untied him to lay him on the floor.

Mmasechaba married Patrick when she was 17 years old and stayed with him till the end, even though Patrick admitted to having abused her for years during their marriage.

In 2016, Mmasechaba told a magazine all about the abuse and how she'd finally seen light at the end of the tunnel when Patrick saw the error of his ways and started seeking help. She sang his praises as a changed man.

But who was Patrick Shai?

Patrick Shai was a celebrated South African actor who appeared in numerous stage plays, television productions and feature films. He started his career at Safari Ranch as a dancer with Mzumba African Drama and Ballet. He went on to scoop many awards on both television and stage.

Patrick was also one of the founder members of Free Film Makers - an alternative to then-mainstream television in South Africa. He appeared in numerous television series including Mission Top Secret, Behind the Badge, Zero Tolerance, Hillside, Soul City, Life is Wild, Yizo Yizo, Hillside, Generations and The River. He also played the role of Christmas in the 1996 BBC mini-series Rhodes.

Shai acted in many made-for-TV movies, including The Land of Dreams (1990), Inside (1996), La Ferme du crocodile (1996), The Place of Lions (1997) and The Gates of Cleveland Road (2000). 

He also has an extensive feature film resume, which includes the following films:

Place of Weeping (1986)

Red Scorpion (1988)

Blind Justice (1988)

Schweitzer (1990)

Taxi to Soweto (1993)

Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)

Hearts and Minds (1996)

Danger Zone (1997)

Fools (1997)

The Bone Snatcher (2003)

Critical Assignment (2004)

He played the lead role of Moses Mokoena - a Xhosa doctor who has to choose between his wife and a white woman he once loved 30 years ago - in the SABC2 mini-series Noah's Ark, from July to August, 2008.

From September to December, 2008, he played the lead role of Kgosi Matlakala, a former magistrate who opens a guest house and wedding chapel, in the SABC2 sitcom Moferefere Lenyalong.

In 2010 he starred as Bra Sporo in the SABC2 drama series Hola Mpinji.

He took over from Owen Sejake as Tiger Sibiya for the third season of the SABC1 drama series Zone 14, from the third season on, in 2010.

Patrick died by suicide on Saturday 22 January 2022.


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