Wednesday 19 June 2019

Healer 'tired' of eating humans jailed for life

 

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Zamira Rahim

A man who told police officers that he was "tired" of eating human flesh has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a woman in South Africa for her body parts.

Nino Mbatha, a traditional healer, was charged last year for the murder of Zanele Hlatshwayo.

The Pietermaritzburg high court found Mbatha and a second man, Lungisani Magubane, guilty of the murder, which was described by Judge Peter Olsen as "the most heinous crime".

Mbatha walked into a police station in Estcourt, a town in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, last year.

He announced that he needed police assistance because he was "tired" of eating body parts, according to 'The Witness' newspaper.

Two police officers listening to the healer's story did not believe him as he appeared unstable, the judge said.

But Mbatha then produced a human hand and leg from his bag. A team of investigators later travelled to the 33-year-old's house, where they found more body parts.

"Photos of the room depicted a disgusting mess," the judge said.

The case has caused uproar in Estcourt and angry residents gathered outside the court during earlier hearings to protest the crime.

Mbatha was acquitted on a charge of being in possession of Hlatshwayo's body parts, which the judge said duplicated the murder charge.

He was also acquitted for "dealing" in body parts by offering them for sale, due to insufficient evidence.

Irish Independent

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