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Valentine Pringle
Val Pringle
December 13, 1999
Age 63
 
Stabbed 
 
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2 Arrested for Murder in Lesotho 
                           

MASERU, Lesotho (AP) -- Police have arrested two men in the slaying of American entertainer Val Pringle, who wrote songs for Harry Belafonte, performed with Eartha Kitt and acted in "Ragtime'' and other movies, officials said Monday.  

Pringle, 63, was stabbed to death Dec. 13 while confronting burglars at his home outside Maseru, capital of this southern African kingdom. His Dutch wife, Thea van Maastricht, locked herself in a room and escaped unharmed, U.S. Ambassador Katherine Peterson said.  

Police arrested two men, both reportedly from Lesotho, over the past two days and said they were seeking two other suspects. The robbers broke into Pringle's home after nightfall. Alerted to their presence, Pringle grabbed a pistol, told his wife to stay back and went after the intruders, Peterson said. 

Van Maastricht heard gunshots, then minutes later found Pringle in a pool of blood in the driveway. A coroner said Pringle had been stabbed 13 times. 

Authorities believe he may have shot one or more of his assailants. His stolen car was later found abandoned with bloodstains on the seats. 

It wasn't the first time tragedy struck the Pringle family in Lesotho, a mountainous country of 2 million people surrounded by South Africa. 

After Pringle moved to Lesotho in the 1980s, his brother Carl followed. Two years ago, Carl was shot while scuffling with carjackers who were trying to steal his minivan. He died months later of complications from the shooting, Peterson said. 

Val Pringle, a singer, songwriter, playwright and actor, moved to Lesotho after appearing in the country on a cultural exchange tour sponsored by the United States Information Service. He became a businessman, running a nightclub and the Lancer's Inn, a popular hotel and restaurant. 

Pringle had minor roles in five films in the 1970s and early 1980s. He recorded four albums and wrote songs for other performers, including "Louise,'' recorded by Belafonte. 

He appeared as a character named Lead in an episode of "Sapphire and Steel,'' a TV series produced from 1979-81 that dealt with time travel. 

As a struggling actor, Pringle shared accommodations with comedian Richard Pryor and actor Lou Gossett Jr., according to press reports. As a singer, he also shared the stage with musicians such as Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela. 

Peterson and King Letsie III of Lesotho are to address a memorial service Wednesday. Pringle's remains will be cremated.  

   

 

        

 

 
 

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