April 17, 2006 07:00 AM

Ashanti cancelled a performance headlining a Divas concert in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday after a drunken teen driver killed her 20-year-old cousin and personal assistant.

Police said that Quinshae Snead, known as Quin, was en route to Ashanti’s hotel on an errand before Saturday’s concert when the car she was riding in was rear-ended. Her body was thrown into the oncoming lane, where it was hit by another vehicle, said West Rand police spokesperson Solomon Sibiya.

The accident was caused by a 17-year-old unlicensed driver who had stolen his mother’s car, said Johannesburg metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar. “He was also under the influence of liquor,” Minnaar told the South African Press Association.

The teen was arrested for drunk driving and hospitalized. The driver of the car with Snead also was injured and taken to the hospital.

Concert promoter Morris Roda told the South African press that Ashanti, 25 (real name: Ashanti Douglas), cried for most of Sunday. Reports on Monday morning say that the singer will escort Snead’s body back home to the U.S.

A rep for Ashanti said in a release on Monday, “Ashanti and the Douglas family would like to thank Morris Roda, (the) South African government, South African Airlines, Melrose Arch Hotel and the South African fans for the their support and assistance in Johannesburg during this time.

“The family would also ask you keep Quin and her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.”

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