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Bontle's body found mutilated not far from home

Suspect in kidnap and murder arrested

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
The body of missing six year-old Bontle Mashiyane was found close to her home.
The body of missing six year-old Bontle Mashiyane was found close to her home.
Image: Supplied

The body of six-year-old Bontle Mashiyane who went missing in Mpumalanga more than three weeks ago has been found mutilated not far from her home. 

Bontle's aunt Sharon Mashiyane confirmed to SowetanLIVE on Saturday afternoon that her niece's body had been found but did not want to say much as the family was trying to come to terms with the matter.

“Yes, she has been found dead and mutilated. That's what I can say for now. We are waiting for leadership of the police [for further information],” said Mashiyane. 

A police source close to the investigation also confirmed that the suspect Collen Hlongwane, who was last seen talking with the girl on April 30, was arrested on Friday along with another man. The two allegedly pointed out to the police where Bontle's body was dumped. 

“On Friday night we arrested Hlongwane and another man, then today [Saturday] they went to point out where the lifeless body of Bontle was found mutilated,” said the officer who is not allowed to speak to the media. 

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala confirmed the arrests but said provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Semakaleng Manamela would shed more light on the matter later as she was going to meet with Bontle's family first.

Hlongwane has been on the run since Bontle's disappearance and Sowetan has since uncovered that he is a serial lawbreaker who was granted parole on more than one occasion.

On Friday Sowetan reported that the last parole in November was his second bite at freedom, despite his run as a hardened criminal. 

Correctional services department records show that in 2008, Hlongwane was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempted murder. He was released on parole in May 2013.

While on parole, he murdered Khonzi Ntsingwane and was subsequently convicted and sentenced in January 2016 to 15 years in prison, three years of which were suspended on condition he does not commit a similar crime.

He was also deemed unfit to possess a firearm. 

He spent only five years behind bars for the murder before he was again released on parole last year. 

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