Newsdeck

Five suspected cannibals in S.African court

By AFP 28 August 2017

Five South African men charged over suspected cannibalism appeared briefly in court on Monday as scores of angry protesters gathered outside, police said.

The men from the rural town of Escourt, in KwaZulu-Natal province, were arrested over a week ago after one handed himself in to a police station, telling officers he was “tired of eating human flesh”.

His confession led to the arrest of his four co-accused.

“All the five men appeared in court on Monday for a bail hearing but opted to abandon their bail application,” police spokeswoman Thembeka Mbhele told AFP.

The accused, all in their 30s, are charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of human parts.

The grisly case, which has rocked the small town, has raised concerns about witchcraft and traditional medicine, as one of the arrested is reported to be a witch doctor.

According to the police, the first suspect walked into Escourt police station on August 18 with a bag containing a human leg and a hand. 

He told officers on duty that he had eaten human flesh and he led them to a house where more human remains were found.

“At this stage we don’t know who these body parts belong to. We are still awaiting DNA results,” said Mbhele.

“We are also investigating how long has this been going on for and how many people have been killed,” she said.

Local media reported that police have linked the case to the killing of at least one woman in the area.

Some local people have also suggested that the men had dug up dead bodies from graves.

Outside Estcourt Magistrates’ court where the men appeared, a crowd waved placards condemning the alleged crimes.

South African media reported that one of the men wept uncontrollably in court.

South Africa has no direct law against cannibalism, but mutilating a corpse and being in possession of human tissue are criminal offences.

The case will resume on September 28. DM

Gallery

Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


Comments

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

Our Burning Planet

No Tomorrow, Part One: Gwede Mantashe, climate suicide & the ANC’s 2019 election manifesto

By Kevin Bloom

Popsicles were originally going to be called "Eppsicles" after their inventor Frank Epperson.