South Africa: Manhunt Launched for Esther Mahlangu’s Robber

Police in Mpumalanga have launched a manhunt for a suspect that robbed and assaulted renowned Ndebele artist, Dr Esther Nostokana Mahlangu, in her home on Saturday evening.

Mpumalanga Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, on Monday strongly condemned the 87-year-old.

During the attack, Mahlangu was robbed of her personal firearm as well as an undisclosed amount of cash.

“Police have since launched a manhunt for the suspect following this house robbery incident which reportedly occurred on Saturday, 19 March 2022 around 15h00 at Siyabuswa near Kwamhlanga,” said Manamela.

Details of the said robbery indicate that on the day, the artist, who was alone at the time was preparing to take a nap where she reportedly locked all doors of her house.

Mpumalanga police in the statement said: “Strangely, she noticed a man unknown to her inside the house. The man then allegedly grabbed her and punched her in the face before tying both her hands with a cable and tried to strangle her until she reportedly became unconscious.

“The old lady reported that she cannot recall what happened thereafter however when she regained consciousness, she realized that her house was ransacked and her firearm as well as money were stolen from the safe.”

The woman sustained bruises on her face and the matter was reported to the police at Siyabuswa whereby a house robbery case was opened hence the manhunt.

Provincial SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, said the suspect was still at large.

He urged the public with information on the whereabouts of the suspect to call the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111 or send information via MYSAPSAPP.

“All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous,” he said.

Manamela further lambasted suspects who target elderly people at their places of residence thereby robbing them of their personal items. “It is shameful to hear that our senior citizens are now being targeted by heartless criminals who show no mercy at all. On Sunday (20 March 2022), we had an incident of this nature where an old male pensioner was strangled to death in Delmas. This cannot be allowed to continue unabated. The person who committed this evil act against one of the country’s asset must be swiftly hunted down and be brought to book,” said the General.

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