A human eater, identified as Nino Mbatha, has been charged to court for murder after he walked into the Police Station to turn himself in, and pulling a human hand out of his bag.
According to Estcourt policeman, Constable Ryan Ntshalintshali, who was on duty, told TimesLive that the culprit walked into the police station.
The action of Mbatha led to an investigation that led to the discovery of human body parts, which were later identified as being that of Zanele Hlatshwayo and ultimately led to the arrest of several men.
Mbatha and his co-accused Lungisani Magubane‚ Khayelihle Lamula and a fourth man Thembiso Sithole – all 32 – were charged with the murder of a local woman, Zanele Hlatswayo. Sithole, however, died in prison this year.
Mbatha faced additional charges of contravening the Human Tissue Act. All three suspects pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Ntshalintshali told the court, “When he walked into the police station, I thought he was mentally unstable because he kept speaking out of turn. He was shouting, ‘I need the police’s help because I am tired of being forced to eat human flesh’.”
The constable said that he had warned Mbatha to remain silent but he was insistent on speaking in the Zulu language.
“He pointed to the bag and said there are human parts in here. He opened the bag and took out what looked like a hand and put it on the counter.”
Startled and confused by the hand, Ntshalintshali told Judge Peter Olson that he had called another policeman over to inspect the hand. They initially thought it was a doll’s hand.
“He then took out a red takkie from the bag, and a horrible smell came with it,” testified Ntshalintshali.“It was at this point that I told him I was placing him under arrest on suspicion of murder,” the policeman said.