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Police discover mutilated body of missing six-year-old

22nd May 2022

The body of missing six-year-old Bontle Mashiyane was discovered by police on Saturday – a day after prime suspect Collen Hlongwane was arrested alongside three accomplices.

Almost a month after being reported missing in the village of Mganduzweni near White River in Mpumalanga, Bontle’s mutilated body was found buried in a shallow grave near her home.

She had been repeatedly raped before being murdered. Her body parts were later harvested and handed to a sangoma. Police have launched a manhunt for the sangoma, who is not among the four arrested.

On Friday evening police acted on a tipoff they received regarding Hlongwane’s whereabouts, a week after a manhunt was launched for the twice-convicted killer.

Mpumalanga provincial commissioner General Daphney Semakaleng Manamela confirmed that the 33-year-old was arrested along with three accomplices. 

“We condemn the gruesome killing of Bontle and we acted on tip-offs that we received from community members and apprehended Hlongwane and three accomplices on Friday evening and they took us to the shallow grave where they had buried her,” she said.

According to police, Bontle was raped by one of Hlongwane’s accomplices, a 40-year-old man whose name has not been released.

Bontle’s uncle Errence Ngutshane accompanied the police and his niece’s killers to the site where she had been buried. He told Scrolla.Africa that the family is heartbroken after the body was confirmed to be hers.

“Though some of her body parts were missing, I identified my niece and what hurts is the merciless torture a six-year-old innocent child endured, the family is in so much pain and we were hopeful that she would be found alive,” he said.

But Ngutshane says that the family cannot rest yet, as the sangoma who allegedly took part in her murder has not been apprehended.

“What we want is the name of this sangoma, as clearly this person is wicked and will continue ruthlessly killing our children who are no longer safe in their backyards,” he said.

Ngutshane said that on Wednesday the family received a tip off regarding Hlongwane’s whereabouts, who was said to be boasting that the police would never catch him. But handing the information to the police, his luck ran out on Friday.

Bontle was reported missing on 22 April after she was last seen talking to the suspect on the roadside outside her home when she was playing with her friends.

Hlongwane, who was granted parole in December 2021 for a previous murder, will appear at Kwa-Bokweni Magistrate’s Court on 23 May alongside three suspects on charges of murder, kidnapping and rape.

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