Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
8 Apr 2022
7:19 pm

Esther Mahlangu robbery: One suspect granted bail, other remains in police custody

Citizen Reporter

Mahlangu's firearm has been recovered, according to Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane.

Picture File: Renowned South African artist Dr Esther Mahlangu during her visit at the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein on 20 September 2018 in Johannesburg. Picture: Gallo Images / Sunday World / Mduduzi Ndzingi

One suspect who was arrested in connection with the robbery and assault of Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu has been released on bail.

On Thursday, two suspects were arrested following a police investigation into the incident.

The suspects appeared at the Mdutjana Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga on Friday, but only one of them was granted bail.

 “Twenty-seven-year-old Simon Kgantshi Skosana has been remanded in custody until 20 April for a formal bail application, while suspect number two Jan Mlemani Kwati Masilela, aged 32, has been released on R3,000 bail and will be back in court on 10 May,” South African Police Service (Saps) Mpumalanga spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala told Jacaranda FM.

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Mahlangu was assaulted, strangled and robbed of an undisclosed amount of money as well as a firearm in her home, located in Mthambothini, near Siyabuswa, last month.

At the time, Mohlala said the incident happened as Mahlangu, who was alone at the time, prepared to take a nap.

The 87-year-old sustained bruises to her face.

Mahlangu’s firearm has been recovered, according to Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane.

While addressing the media outside the artist’s home on Thursday, Mtshweni-Tsipane revealed that police initially took seven suspects in for questioning.

“We have apprehended two [suspects] for now. Up to this far, there’s about seven people who know how [the robbery] transpired in this case.

“But out of this seven, two of them were actively involved so the others are witnesses to that effect. They were not necessarily active participants in the process, but they are the ones that also led us to where we are today,” the premier said.

Mtshweni-Tsipane also indicated there may be security upgrades to Mahlangu’s house following the incident.

“An assessment is about to be concluded and upon conclusion of that report it will then come to us so that we look at it and we put budget in accordance with the recommendation. Yes, it is work that is still underway,” she said.

The premier further said that there was security already guarding the area.

“That is happening and the family also confirmed and were very happy about that whilst we still wait for the finalisation of the report,” Mtshweni-Tsipane added.

READ MORE: Esther Mahlangu-customised Air Jordans valued at R7 million

Last week, police offered a reward of R50,000 to anyone with information about the assault and robbery. 

Mahlangu’s world-renowned work has seen her land lucrative deals and collaborate with well-known brands such as BMW and Nike.

Her impressive artwork was used in the ‘art car’ BMW luxury 7 series model in 2017.

The self-taught Ndebele artist has also worked with an alcohol brand and her work has been honoured internationally.