Johannesburg - The three suspects who have been arrested in connection to the murder of six-year-old Bontle Mashiane appeared at the Kabokweni Magistrate’s court in Mpumalanga today.
Collen Hlongwane (36), Thapelo Ngomane (25) and Ntombi Mgwenya (40) were remanded in custody.
They have been charged with kidnapping, trafficking, murder and rape. All three abandoned their applications for bail.
The case has been postponed to 24 June.
Two of the suspects in custody are neighbours of the Mashiane family.
The media has been barred from filming or taking pictures of the suspects during the court proceedings. The prosecution argues that it would put the lives of the suspects in jeopardy as there have already been threats to torch their homes.
The Magistrate concurred with the the prosecution.
Collen Hlongwane, who lives on the same street as Bontle, was last seen talking to her on April 30. He was arrested on Friday.
It has been revealed that he has twice been paroled prior to his arrest in connection with the killing of Bontle Mashiane.
In 2008, he was convicted and sentenced to a 10-year jail term for attempted murder. He was released on parole in May 2013.
While on parole, he was found guilty of murdering Khonzi Ntsingwane. He was sentenced in January 2016 to 15 years in prison, three years of which were suspended on the condition that he did commit a similar crime.
Hlongwane served five years in prison before again being released on parole in November last year.
Bontle Mashiyane’s already decomposing and mutilated body was found not far from her home this past weekend after having gone missing on 30 April. It was also discovered that the young victim had been raped.
Two more suspects have been taken in for questioning, one of whom is a traditional healer, further increasing speculation that Bontle’s killing is muti related.