Oti's brother died while she was only a baby (photo: PA / BBC)

The half-brother of Oti Mabuse has committed suicide at the age of 18 years.

the Strictly Come Dancing professional, who debuted last week as "dance captain" alongside Cheryl and Matthew Morrison at BBC1.

The Greatest Dancer, suffered the tragic defeat when his brother Neo killed himself with a poison in South Africa.

Oti's older sister, Motsi Mabuse, recounted the death of her brother in his autobiography titled Chill in the Blood: My Dance Through Life, published in Germany in 2014.

Motsi, 37, wrote: "He killed himself with a poison. And because the peoples of Africa are very religious and superstitious, a misfortune has occurred in our neighborhood.

Oti's sister, Motsi, wrote about his brother in his autobiography (Photo: Instagram)

"With Neo's suicide, our family was perceived as a negative energy. Because of this rumor, nobody came to us because we feared a bad energy for the visitor. "

Neo had the same mother, Dudu, as Oti and his sisters Motsi and Phemelo, and they grew up in the South African city of Mabopane, near the capital Pretoria.

Dudu had Neo when she was a teenager, before meeting Peter Mabuse and becoming pregnant with her eldest daughter, Motsi.

Motsi noted that Neo had had difficult years in apartheid South Africa and that he had died shortly after the release of Nelson Mandela from his prison in 1990.

Oti is currently a dance coach in The Greatest Dancer (photo: Tom Dymond / BBC / Syco / Thames / PA Wire)

Oti, 28, was only a baby when Neo died and never spoke to her in public, but shares close ties with her family, including Motsi, who is also a professional dancer and judge of the German show Let's Dance.

Oti, partner of Graeme Swann this year, said about her family: "My family plays an important role in my role as a dancer and my sister was my first coach. She is still my model and inspiration to this day. She was my first coach, she taught me my first steps.

"My mother was my first coach, she trained me for my first competition. I literally only admire my family, because our family is also very competitive and it's always about being the best.

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'My sister is a three-time European champion, European and world finalist. She was the first woman in South Africa to do that. I mean, you can not look for a better model than the one who sleeps in the room next to you, and that has always been close to my heart. If I need advice to judge, dance, teach, create, she has always been the first person I contacted. And I think it may be the only person whose opinion really matters to me. "

Oti, married to Romanian dancer Marius Lepure, was praised for her judging skills in The Greatest Dancer and announced this week that she would choreograph for her first musical in the revival of Is not Misbehavin 'at the Southwark Playhouse.

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