Protests as three ac­cused of eat­ing hu­man flesh are freed

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - News - SIBONGISENI MAPHUMULO prov­inces@the­newage.co.za

VI­O­LENT protests erupted out­side the Est­court Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day when three of the seven men ac­cused of mur­der and con­sum­ing hu­man flesh were pro­vi­sion­ally re­leased and charges dropped against them.

Lin­dokuhle Ma­sondo, Wiseman Mad­lala and Sazi Ndlovu left the court free men after se­nior pros­e­cu­tor Is­rael Zuma told mag­is­trate Arthi Sukhraj that he had re­ceived in­struc­tions from the of­fice of the provin­cial di­rec­tor of public pros­e­cu­tor to pro­vi­sion­ally with­draw charges against the ac­cused as there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence.

But, he said, the charges may be re­in­stated and the men re­ar­rested in fu­ture.

Tra­di­tional healer and re­port­edly self-con­fessed can­ni­bal Nino Mbatha, Sithem­biso Sit­hole, Lungisani Magubane and Khayelihle La­mula will, how­ever, con­tinue to be tried for mur­der and con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der.

Their in­ten­tion to ap­ply for bail fur­ther en­raged com­mu­nity mem­bers who said they did not want the sus­pects back in the com­mu­nity.

A pro­tester out­side court, who did not want to be named, said they were al­ready liv­ing in fear and the fact that some of the sus­pects were free to go home would worsen the sit­u­a­tion.

“They eat peo­ple. How can you send them back to the com­mu­nity when we are scared of them? We don’t know what prompted them to do what they did and who is to say they won’t do it again? If the jus­tice sys­tem won’t pro­tect us, then we will have to pro­tect our­selves,” he said.

As chaos erupted out­side court, protesters clashed with po­lice who used tear­gas and rub­ber bul­lets to dis­perse the an­gry crowd. In turn, they re­tal­i­ated by throw­ing rocks and other ob­jects avail­able to them.

No ar­rests were made. One per­son was re­port­edly in­jured in the chaos.

The re­main­ing four ac­cused will ap­pear in court on Oc­to­ber 27 to make a for­mal bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

The sus­pects were ar­rested at dif­fer­ent stages fol­low­ing an al­leged con­fes­sion by Mbatha who had walked in to the lo­cal po­lice to re­port that he was tired of eat­ing hu­man flesh.

Mbatha had been car­ry­ing a de­com­pos­ing leg and arm as proof of the deed.

The re­mains found in Rens­burgdrif in Au­gust were later iden­ti­fied as those of miss­ing Zanele Hlatshwayo.

PIC­TURE: TWIT­TER

IN­FU­RI­ATED: Com­mu­nity mem­bers protest out­side court.

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