Dr Esther Mahlangu’s alleged attacker walks free

The family of Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu is in shock after the case against a man who allegedly attacked her in March, was struck off the court roll due to outstanding evidence.

 The world renowned artist’s grandson,  Xolani Mahlangu, who was in the Mdutjana magistrate’s court when the matter was removed from the roll, said he was confused by the decision as the family was under the impression that the police had enough evidence against the accused, Simon Kgansi Sikhosana.

Mahlangu was attacked in her home in Weltevrede, near Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga on March 19.

The 86-year-old was assaulted, strangled, tied up and robbed of, among other things, her gun and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Said Xolani: “We really don’t understand. We know that he [the accused] was found with the stolen gun belonging to my grandmother and even pointed out to the police how he broke into the house. What he did when he got into the house and how he attacked my grandmother. It  doesn’t seem like the evidence made it to the court.

“We need an explanation as to what is happening and only the investigating officer can give us these answers. My grandmother will have sleepless nights. She will be looking over her shoulder, worrying about whether this person will come back for her. 

“I am worried about my grandmother’s health . She wasn’t in court because we try and shield her from this.   When we  broke the news to her, she  went into a panic. We had to call a doctor to come and  examine her. She is still traumatised and has been in frail health since the attack, ” said Xolani.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Monica Nyuswa said: “The magistrate removed the matter due to outstanding investigations from the police. As a result, Skhosana was released when the case was struck off the court roll. However, this does not mean that the state has no case against  him.  Once all the information  has been obtained, charges  will be reinstated. We are waiting for the ballistics reports and other information that will be used during the trial,” said  Nyuswa. 

“ Sikhosana, was charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances and has been in custody,” she added.

The family said at the time of the incident , Sikhosana had been  working for Mahlangu.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala said: “We will check what it is that is outstanding when we get the docket tomorrow [Friday] and we will rectify it accordingly.”

sibiyan@sowetan.co.za

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