‘Savage’ heart-eater denied bail

2014-07-14 13:38

A man accused of cutting out and eating a man’s heart has been denied bail in Cape Town because of the “shock and outrage” it would cause to the community.

Athlone magistrate Elizabeth Ellis today told Zimbabwean national Andrew Chimboza (35) that there was a prima facie case against him and that releasing him would be an injustice.

Her decision was largely based on the peace and security of the public, the safety of the accused, and the public’s confidence in the justice system.

Chimboza is accused of stabbing 62-year-old Mbuyiselo Manona to death at the Gugulethu home of a female client a month ago.

When he applied for bail, Chimboza admitted to stabbing Manona to death in self-defence after he was attacked.

The State alleged that it had eyewitnesses who saw him sitting on top of Manona, eating chopped pieces of his heart.

The investigating officer had also testified that the post mortem doctor told him the heart had been removed while Manona was still alive.

“There are few things these days that really shock people due to horror movies. For something to induce a sense of shock, it must be really graphic and unexpected, savage-like,” Ellis said.

“And if I look at what you have done, sir, what you have done is a savage act.”

Chimboza’s lawyer, Tracey Dowman, argued earlier that there was no final post mortem report to corroborate what the investigating officer had claimed about the heart.

A cause of death had also not yet been declared, she said.

“There was no evidence placed before this court by the investigating officer that the accused will endanger anyone’s safety or the safety of the community out there,” she said.

Dowman said his release would not disturb the public order.

Prosecutor Quawnita Geyer argued that Chimboza was a flight risk with no ties to the country.

He had paid an admission of guilt fine for a previous conviction of assault in 2011 and could potentially interfere with witnesses who still needed to make statements.

She also referred to the public interest in the case.

“The media is also present at every single postponement. This is indicative of the sentiment, nationally and internationally, that people share of the crime the accused is alleged to have committed.”

Geyer submitted that the minimum sentence of life in jail should apply if he was convicted, because body parts had been removed.

The case was likely to be heard by a regional court or the Western Cape High Court.

The matter was postponed until September 16 for further investigation.

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