The SBV security guard who vanished after allegedly stealing R4m from a cash depot was apparently seen at her sister’s wedding in Soweto in December.
Neighbours in Dlamini where Bathobile Mlangeni lived said she attended the wedding. But her mother, who asked not to be named, denied this, saying she had not seen her daughter since the incident occurred in July.
A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said Mlangeni had spent a few days at her home in December before she disappeared again.
He said he was shocked when he read about Mlangeni and her alleged involvement in the disappearance of the millions from the depot at the Mall of Africa in Midrand.
“She is such a sweet person. She grew up here and I knew her well. I would have never thought that she would do something like this,” said the neighbour.
Another neighbour said he had seen Mlangeni in the area numerous times before the wedding.
“There was nothing flashy about her. She wasn’t using a car or anything, just taxis like a regular person. I didn’t even know that she was wanted because she didn’t live here anymore. She lived close to where she worked and I don’t know where that is,” he said.
Mlangeni, 29, vanished into thin air after she strolled out from a SBV Secure Solutions collection facility on July 15 and has never been seen.
She was on duty at the time of the incident and sources said she allegedly cut open two bulk cash bags with a pair of scissors before transferring the money into a number of refuse bags which she placed in a trolley and walked out of the centre.
However, Mlangeni’s mother said she did not know why her daughter was being sought by police because she was not a thief. “My daughter would not steal a penny – not a cent. You can leave your valuables here and she would not even touch them. That is not the type of person she is or the person I raised,” she said.
Asked when she last saw her daughter, she said: “I haven’t seen her since she was accused of stealing the money. I don’t know where she is.”
But before she could continue with the interview, Mlangeni’s other relative interjected and said the family would not comment any further on the matter.
The family has not opened a missing person’s case with the police.
Mlangeni lived in Midrand before she allegedly committed the crime, a former roommate told Sowetan.
The roommate, who also asked not to be named, described Mlangeni as a bubbly and happy person. He said he was shocked when he was taken in for questioning by the police shortly after she disappeared.
“Firstly, she moved out a month before the incident (theft) happened. Police came to me to ask about her and when I last saw her. I told them she moved out a month ago (at the time) and I haven’t seen her since,” he said.
Gauteng police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo said Mlangeni was wanted in connection with the disappearance of millions of rands while she was on duty. “She has not reported for work since the day the money went missing,” he said.
He urged members of the public who know her whereabouts to come forward.
Yesterday, SBV group CEO Mark Barrett appealed for information that may help in the investigation.
“As a key service provider that ensures that cash is available for the citizens of South Africa, and as a responsible corporate citizen, we do not tolerate any crime and take all internal and external incidents in a serious light.
“If an incident does occur, we will focus our efforts together with the relevant authorities to ensure that the perpetrators involved are brought to justice,” Barrett said.