The internationally acclaimed Ndebele artist, Dr. Esther Nostokan Mahlangu, 87 was robbed of her weapon and an undisclosed amount of money.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier General Selvy Mohlala said Dr.Mahlangu was home alone at around 3 p.m. on Saturday and had just locked the doors to take a nap when she suddenly noticed an intruder in the house.
“The man overpowered and punched her in the face, tied both her hands with cables, and tried to strangle her until he passed out,” Brigadier Mohala said.
According to Brigadier Mohlala, the old woman had no recollection of what had happened when she regained consciousness, but she discovered that her house had been ransacked and that her pistol along with the money, had been stolen from the safe.
Dr. Mahlangu had bruises on her face and the incident was reported to the Siyabuswa police, after which a case of house robbery and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was opened.
In 1989, Dr.Mahlangu gained international recognition at the European art exhibition Magiciens de la terre. In 1991, he was commissioned by BMW to design an art car in the footsteps of BMW Art Car founders such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Frank Stella.
The car was later exhibited at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC in 1994. In 2017, it was also exhibited at the British Museum in London.
His designs were also reproduced in 1997 on the tail surfaces of British Airways aircraft, and the artist recently painted the new Fiat 500 with the same technique on the occasion of the exhibition.
Mpumalanga Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has strongly condemned suspects who target elderly people at their homes, robbing them of their belongings.
“It is unfortunate that our senior citizens are now the target of unscrupulous robbers. An older man was strangled to death by robbers on March 20, 2022.
The perpetrators of this heinous act against our valuable assets must be arrested and prosecuted as soon as possible,” said the General.
The suspect remains at large and the police request everyone with information to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or send information via the MySAPS application.
Brigadier Mohlala said all information received is considered confidential and callers may choose to remain anonymous.