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Community, EFF members out in numbers as Bontle's 'killers' appear in court

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
Slain six-year-old Bontle Zethu Ditebogo Mashiyane.
Slain six-year-old Bontle Zethu Ditebogo Mashiyane.
Image: Supplied

There's high police presence and community members outside the KaBokweni magistrate's court ahead of the appearance of three people accused of killing Bontle Zethu Ditebogo Mashiyane. 

Serial violent offender Collen Hlongwane, who had been released twice before on parole for an attempted murder he committed in 2008 and a 2013 murder, his girlfriend, 40, who has allegedly told police that she has killed four other children before, including her two nieces, are expected to appear in court on Monday. The other suspect is a 25-year-old neighbour.

Bontle had been missing since April 30 when her mutilated body was found near her home in Mganduzweni near Hazyview, Mpumalanga, on Saturday.

Hlongwane, who was arrested in Edwaleni, near White River, pointed out his girlfriend and a neighbour, leading to their arrest and eventually the pointing out of where they had dumped Bontle's  body.

His arrest blew the lid on child killings for muthi in Mganduzweni and surrounding areas.

The girlfriend is an aunt to siblings Silindile and Ntokozo Sifunda, who were killed in April 2019 in Mganduzweni.

The aunt, the Sifunda sisters and Bontle lived on the same street.

In June 2019, Sowetan reported how the tragic death of the Sifunda siblings led to the killing of a local pastor and his nephew. Pastor Bheki Malomane, 36, and his nephew Wonder Mbuyane, 24, were beaten and set alight by the community.

Their houses were also torched after a local traditional healer, who was consulted by the community, ruled that Malomane and Mbuyane were involved in the murders of the two little sisters.

Outside court, members of the EFF and community are chanting Struggle songs, calling for justice for Bontle.

“We came here to support the family of the little girl. We can't live in the community where there're people who kill our children. They must not get bail and they must reveal the market where they sell the body parts,” said community member Lawrance Mathebula.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala told Sowetan police were still questioning two more suspects, including a sangoma.

“We are having two other people who are in for questioning and if we charge them, we shall inform the public,” said Mohlala.

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