Insurance murder accused woman tried to kill me too – stepdad
Mahlangu, hubby in court for staged house fire death
A woman who was arrested for the murder of a man believed to be her ex-lover has now been accused by her stepfather of trying to kill him too.
Lerato Mahlangu and her husband Sibusiso were arrested three weeks ago for the 2021 murder of Sibusiso Sithebe, whose body they allegedly buried under the guise of being Mahlangu’s husband.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority, the pair allegedly cashed out on policies, while Sithebe’s family searched for him tirelessly.
Wonder Khoza said his stepdaughter (Lerato) set up a trap that led to him being hacked almost to death with a panga at his Soshanguve home, north of Tshwane Pretoria, last year.
On the day of the incident in August last year, Khoza said he received a strange call from his stepdaughter who told him that she was outside his house and that she and her brother needed a place to stay for the night.
“At the time we had not been communicating much. She told me that she had been kicked out of her aunt’s house in Winterveldt (also in Tshwane). “It was after 8pm at night and even though I found it odd that they had used a taxi at that time, because taxis don’t usually operate around that time in Soshanguve, I still went out to open for them.
“Before they could settle in, her brother left the house saying he was going to buy airtime. Shortly after that, I was in the bathroom, I heard one of my nephews screaming in distress from the living room.”
Upon investigation, Khoza said he found five people had entered his home with Lerato’s brother. Three of the intruders were armed with a gun, panga and a baseball bat.
“The one with the gun pointed it at me. I tried to fight him for the gun and as we were wrestling, I was hit with the baseball bat on my back. Both the gunman and I fell to the ground as I held on tight to him,” he said.
“During our struggle, I heard him yell out ‘Sbu kapa die man’ (Sbu, slash this man).”
As the man with the panga came after him, Khoza said the man with the panga coming down on him and tried to cover his face with his arms while the man hit him repeatedly.
“He continued to hit me with the panga. He hit me on the head three times. I thought I was going to die.”
He said he played dead to save his life. “While I pretended to be dead with blood all over me, I saw how the group of men took off with Lerato. “One of them referred to Lerato as ‘baby’, saying they should leave. My stepdaughter literally walked over me to leave with the group. Her brother also followed them.”
Khoza said the attackers also took two cellphones from the house.
After spending three days in hospital, Khoza opened a case at the Rietgat police station, after which Mahlangu and her brother were arrested.
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Mavela Masondo said the two were arrested in August 16 on a charge of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm. While Masondo confirmed that the pair was released, he could not however not say at this stage under what conditions were they released.
Mahlangu and her husband will appear in the Soshanguve magistrate’s court on Thursday on charges of murder, fraud and defeating the ends of justice after Sithebe’s death in their RDP home in Soshanguve Block HH.
Mahlangu’s husband, who had been declared dead in 2021 after a house fire, was arrested in Hammanskraal last month after being found with a stolen car.
This opened the lid to the revelation that the Mahlangu couple had staged the husband’s death and that the man that had died in the fire may have been Sithebe, who is also the father of her child.
A neighbour told Sowetan last week that they believed Mahlangu’s husband had died until police showed up at their house with him in chains and shackles following his arrest for driving a stolen car.
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