Tue Sep 26 11:10:38 CAT 2017

Model Princess Mahlangu 'pulled wool over Mbalula'

2017-09-12 09:54:47.0 | Batlile Phaladi |

The Bloemfontein model who got police minister Fikile Mbalula running around like a headless chicken after she was allegedly kidnapped by human traffickers in Malaysia was actually on a paid-for joyride.

Princess Mahlangu had tweeted a storm about her departure to participate in the international Miss United Countries pageant and when she was contacted about the cancellation of the event, she said she was already at the airport and boarded the plane anyway.

Organiser Tare Munzara told Sunday World that he informed Mahlangu that the contest had been cancelled but she insisted on travelling to the southeast Asian nation, apparently worried that turning back at the airport would embarrass her and her family.

Mahlangu, a Miss Mamelodi Sundowns Free State 2012, could not be reached for comment. Police also confirmed that the messages and emails informing Mahlangu about the cancellation of the event formed part of their investigation and proved that the model was informed of the organisers' decision.

"The investigation revealed that there were no elements of crime in the case. We found evidence that showed that Mahlangu was aware that the competition was cancelled but she continued to fly to Malaysia.

"When she got there, she did not have proper accommodation. So she decided to lie to the police that she was being trafficked," said a police source.

The messages, seen by Sunday World, read: "Hi Princess, the local company here is cleared but they said we needed to apply for clearance. So unfortunately we are unable to do the event until a green light is given."

Princess replied: "Tare, I'm at the check-in gate, what is going to happen?"

When Munzara did not respond pronto, Mahlangu fired another text to him and said: "Please don't go quiet on me neh, I understand the stress but I'm alone and I'm travelling so I need to stay connected to you."

Munzara also said that when Mahlangu arrived, she found other contestants who came with their parents.

"I was shocked when my name was all over the media saying I'm a trafficker. I lost a lot of business deals because of Princess's claims falsely accusing me of such a serious crime," said Munzara

On July 31, Mbalula told journalists at a press conference that Mahlangu said the modeling competition was cancelled when she arrived in Malaysia and she was kept in that country against her will.

"She managed to contact her brother in South Africa who then contacted me. I then informed Interpol and the Hawks to investigate the matter," said Mbalula at the time.

Mbalula's spokesman Vuyo Mhaga told Sunday World this week that no such case was opened or investigated in South Africa.

However, police sources close to the case, said a case was opened but was later closed.

Sunday World has seen police documents concerning the case which was handled by the Hawks in Bloemfontein.

In the documents, a sworn affidavit of Mahlangu's friend Maberete Molisalife, who travelled with her to OR Tambo as well as that of Miss Heritage South Africa director Palesa Mjale, are attached.

The documents also show that a statement was obtained from another Miss Heritage South Africa director Mpho Masita. The cellphones of several people were confiscated and sent to experts for analysis.

Mjale and Masita would not comment until the police report from the investigation was sent to them formally.

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