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Esther Mahlangu 'robber' arrested, gun recovered

Suspect caught at village not far from artist's home

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Renowned Ndebele painter Esther Mahlangu.
Renowned Ndebele painter Esther Mahlangu.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

A suspect has been arrested for robbing renowned Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu and for stealing her firearm.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala said yesterday afternoon that he was not in a position to comment until premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, who's also visiting Mahlangu's home, spoke on the matter.

Sowetan has, however, reliably learnt that a suspect was arrested in Mogononong village, which is a few kilometres from Mahlangu's homestead in Mthambothini, near Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga.

Police had put a R50,000 reward for anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of those behind the robbery at Mahlangu's homestead.

Mahlangu, 87, was attacked by an unknown man more than two weeks ago while she was alone and about to take a nap at her home.

An undisclosed amount of money and a firearm she has owned for more than 20 years were stolen in the process that shocked SA.

The well-travelled painter suffered bruises on her cheeks, lips and left temple.

Mtshweni-Tsipane will be visiting Mahlangu on a "follow up" visit on Thursday afternoon where she's expected to give an update on the police investigation into the robbery, according to a media advisory from her office.

Shortly after the robbery, Mahlangu told Sowetan that she wished her attacker is caught and brought to her so she “teaches him a lesson”.

Mahlangu said at the time that she wanted to address the issue of security around her house.

“I wish someone can make a plan for me to have security manning my gate because there was no way anyone would gain entry into the yard unseen if there was a security guard.”

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