Johannesburg - The homes of the suspects in the Bontle Mashiyane murder case have been torched, allegedly by angry community members.
This comes after the prosecutor in the case has raised concerns for the safety of the suspects, amid threats that had been against their lives.
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 on Monday.
The prosecutor specifically requested that the media not be allowed to film proceedings inside court because there had been rumours that the community was planning to burn down the houses of the accused.
Their fears were realised last night, when the homes of three individuals, who were linked to the young victim’s gruesome murder, were set alight.
The homes of two of the accused, Ntombikayise Ngwenya and Thapelo Surprise Ngomane, 25, were torched.
The third home belongs to Simon Tsela, a sangoma who is alleged to have been involved in the killing, was also burnt down. Tsela has not been arrested but has been questioned by law enforcement officers in connection with the death of Bontle.
The sangoma’s alleged involvement has led many to speculate that Bontle’s killing was muthi-related.
Collen Hlongwane, 36, Thapelo Ngomane, 25, and Ntombi Mgwenya, 40, appeared at the Kabokweni Magistrate’s court in Mpumalanga yesterday.
All three were remanded in custody after they abandoned their bail applications.
They have been charged with kidnapping, dealing in human tissue, murder and rape. The case has been postponed to June 24.
Two of the suspects in custody are neighbours of the Mashiane family.
It has come to light that Collen Hlongwane, who lives on the same street as Bontle, was last seen talking to her on April 30.
Disturbingly, it has also been revealed that It has been revealed that Hlongwane 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 on May 21, at Mganduzweni near White River this past weekend after having gone missing on 30 April.
It was also discovered that the young victim had been raped.