Sibusiso Mahlangu and his wife Lerato from Soshanguve have been charged with murder, defeating the ends of justice and fraud, as police launch investigation to establish who was buried in Mahlangu’s place, News 24 reported on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.
Authorities have not yet confirmed whose body was buried in Mahlangu’s place. Efforts to exhume the body are under way with police making the necessary applications.
However, the body is reported to be Lerato’s missing ex-boyfriend, 32-year-old Sibusiso Sithebe, who is the father of her daughter.
Apparently, the charred body was found wearing a ring that belongs to Mahlangu.
The case bears similarities to that of convicted rapist and murderer, Thabo Bester, who was said to have burnt to death in his cell at Mangaung Correctional Centre in May last year.
However, Bester was found to have escaped, and the charred body in his cell was that of Free State resident, Katlego Bereng.
Bester was arrested with his girlfriend, Dr Nandipha Magudumana, on 7 April in Tanzania.
According to Sithebe’s sister, Linah, Sithebe was reported missing on 1 January 2022 after he and his new girlfriend had celebrated their child’s birthday party.
Linah said the girlfriend notified the family after Sithebe did not return from a job in Hammanskraal.
The family opened a missing person’s case.
She said they enlisted the help of a relative who worked for a cellphone provider to trace her brother’s phone.
“He managed to track Sibusiso’s call log and find out who called him last.”
Linah said she called that number, and Lerato answered.
“I told her Sibusiso had not been home in two days, and we were worried and asked if she had seen or heard of him, but she said no.”
Lerato said she and Sibusiso had last spoken at the end of October or the beginning of November,” said Linah.
She said Lerato then told her that the news of Sithebe’s disappearance “was stressing her” because she had also just lost her husband.