Raped and slaughtered for muthi ‘to be loved by women’

2018-11-28 15:56
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Before an Estcourt woman was beheaded and her organs removed, she was allegedly raped by two men, one standing trial for the murder.

The startling revelations, including gory descriptions of how Zanele Hlatswayo was killed in July last year, are contained in statements made by Lungisani Magubane and Khayelihle Lamula.

They, along with Nino Mbatha, a traditional healer, are charged with the murder. Mbatha faces additional charges relating to being in possession of Hlatswayo’s body parts.

He too has made a statement, but has not mentioned the rape.

The documents have been admitted to the Pietermaritzburg high court as evidence following Judge Peter Olsen’s ruling on Tuesday that they were made freely and voluntarily.

Although not identical, a clear picture emerges from the statements of what happened before, during and after Hlatswayo’s murder.

It appears that Lamula played the smallest role, that of a driver who transported the men and Hlatswayo to an open veld where she was slaughtered.

Magubane’s version is the most detailed.

He said he, Lamula and a man called Nhlakanipho Shabalala went to Mbatha because they wanted “muthi for strength, luck to get work and muthi to be loved by women.”

Mbatha told them his “ancestors are telling him to tell us that blood had to be spilled”. The men then left.

When he was fetched on the day of the murder, Hlatswayo was already in the car, Magubane said.

Altogether, he said there were five men: himself, his two co-accused, Shabalala and another man called Nu Ndlovu.

When they got to an open veld, Mbatha and Ndlovu raped Hlatswayo, he said.

Afterwards, Mbatha pressed her down on the ground, putting his foot on her chest. Shabalala was holding her head with both his hands.

Mbatha “started to slit her throat”, he said, adding “when Mbatha saw her jumping and kicking he told me to hold down her legs”.

Mbatha then beheaded her. He then removed her organs and put the parts into a plastic bag and into his backpack.

Mbatha and Shabalala then hid the remains between rocks.

Mbatha in his statement admitted to butchering Hlatswayo.

He said, “All those organs were kept by me in my house”.

After about five days, he said, Shabalala informed him that the body had been found by police.

“The tissues or organs began to smell and I decided to go to the police and report this matter.”

Mbatha said he took a foot and hand with him to the station.

“I also showed the police the rest of the tissues that were in my house.”

Lamula said he was promised R4 000 to be the driver and was given R1 000 a few days afterwards. He did not see Hlatswayo being killed.

He was told that she was raped twice and then killed.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  cannibalism case
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