Thursday, 07 April 2022 15:08

Two questioned in connection with Esther Mahlangu robbery.

Staff Reporter.

The Mpumalanga police are questioning two suspects in connection with the robbery of world-renowned Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu.

Mahlangu, who paints vibrant geometric works based on traditional Ndebele designs, was assaulted, strangle and robbed of an undisclosed amount of money as well as a gun last month.

She sustained some bruises to her face, and the attack was reported to the police at Siyabuswa, where a house robbery case was opened, and a manhunt was initiated.

Mpumalanga police have confirmed that they are following strong leads. They have offered a R50 000 reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects in the case.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the men, aged 32 and 37, had been arrested on Thursday.

Initially, police took seven suspects in for questioning.

Five could not be linked to the attack and were released.

The Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane will be visiting the family home on Thursday afternoon.

In April 2018, the University of Johannesburg conferred Mahlangu with an honorary doctoral degree.

In February 2020,  Mahlangu became the first South African to have her distinctive artwork displayed on a customised Rolls Royce Phantom.

The self-taught artist is known for her bold, large-scale contemporary art.

In 1991, she became the first African and first female artist to paint a BMW Art Car, following in the footsteps of the likes of Andy Warhol and others.

Born in Middleburg, Mpumalanga, in 1935, Esther Mahlangu has become the ambassador of South Africa’s South Ndebele heritage and art.