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Renowned SA artist Esther Mahlangu in shock but recovering at home after assault, robbery

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The secretary for the Esther Mahlangu Foundation, George Mashiane, said the 87-year-old world-renowned artist was in good condition, although still in shock and nursing some bruises from the attack.

Acclaimed South African artist Dr Esther Mahlangu is recovering well at home after she was assaulted and robbed on Saturday. File Picture

GLOBALLY-renowned Ndebele artist, 87-year-old Dr Esther Nostokana Mahlangu, is recovering well at home after she was severely assaulted and robbed in her Siyabuswa home in Mpumalanga, the Esther Mahlangu Foundation said on Tuesday.

“I am in touch with Mama Mahlangu. Yesterday I saw her and just now I will be leaving to go and check on her. She is in good condition at the moment except that she is still in shock after what happened on Saturday,” secretary for the Esther Mahlangu Foundation George Mashiane told news channel eNCA.

“Basically, there is nothing much to worry about, besides the bruises on the face and the shock.”

Mashiane said Mahlangu had been taken to a health-care facility to be checked after the attack, but was now recovering at home.

“We just took her for check-up on Saturday, just to make sure that the injuries are not that bad. They didn’t admit her. They just checked on her and released her. She is at home as we speak,” he said.

Mashiane said there was a need to formalise monitoring the people who arrive at Mahlangu’s home to check on her and view her artwork, which has won the Ndebele cultural guru many awards over the years.

A BMW 7 series, sporting the unique panels painted by top South African artist Esther Mahlangu. File Picture

“[We need to have] [personnel that is at the gate, to have a reception of some kind, just to check on the people who are coming in. Our main worry is that when people are coming here, they find gogo walking around her yard, and people just come inside and take pictures while she is unprepared for something like that,” said Mashiane.

“The people then distribute those pictures. That has been our worry.”

Mashiane said the intruder who attacked Mahlangu had not been identified, but seemed to be “a person who knows the ins and outs” of the artist.

Earlier, the SAPS in Mpumalanga said Mahlangu was robbed of her personal firearm as well as an undisclosed amount of cash.

“Police have since launched a manhunt for the suspect following this house robbery incident which reportedly occurred on Saturday, 19 March 2022 around 3pm at Siyabuswa near KwaMhlanga,” said Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

“Details of the said robbery indicate that on the said day the old woman, who was alone at the time, was preparing to take a nap where she reportedly locked all doors of her house. Strangely, she noticed a man unknown to her inside the house.”

The man then allegedly grabbed her and punched her in the face before tying her hands with a cable and strangling her until she reportedly became unconscious.

“The old lady reported that she cannot recall what happened thereafter however when she regained her conscious, she realised that her house was ransacked and her firearm as well as money were stolen from the safe,” Mohlala said.

The elderly woman sustained bruises on her face and the matter was reported to police at Siyabuswa. A house robbery case was opened.

“The suspect is still at large and police urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect to call the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111 or send information via MySAPS app. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous,” Mohlala said.

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