We will kill them ourselves - angry community lashes out at cannibal accused

2017-09-28 17:14
An angry crowd has gathered for the appearance of the cannibal accused in Estcourt. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

An angry crowd has gathered for the appearance of the cannibal accused in Estcourt. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Estcourt - Hundreds in the small town community of Estcourt braved the cold and rain on Thursday to protest outside their local magistrate's court where seven men accused of cannibalism appeared.

"We are here to fight the people who bite other people. We are too tired. If police or the court doesn't take responsibility for those people we will kill them ourselves," resident Kwanele Dlamini said.

Another resident Zamokhule Mahlaba, who has lived in Estcourt her entire life, said her children were afraid to go to school because of the alleged cannibals.

"These men must rot in jail. The police must throw away the keys. We do not want to see them."

A large crowd gathered outside Estcourt Magistrate's Court where a large police presence kept the angered community at bay.

'Angry community'

Five men, including traditional healer Nino Mbatha, 32, Sithembiso Sithole, 31, Lindokuhle Masondo, 32, Lungisani Magubane, 30, and Khayelihle Lamula, 32, Sazi Ndlovu, 31 and Wiseman Madladla, 28 all of Esigodlweni, made a brief appearance before Magistrate Arti Sookraj.

Police said that Ndlovu was nabbed on Wednesday.

The men appeared nonchalant during proceedings. They claimed to have been assaulted by a prison warden while in custody. Sookraj said that procedures to tend to the complaint would be initiated.

Legal aid lawyer Thandeka Radebe said the seven accused would be consulted between Thursday and their next court appearance on October 12 to ascertain full instructions.

Meanwhile Nkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality Mayor Jabu Mbhele addressed the large crowd outside court.

Speaking to media before that, Mbhele said she had convened public meetings to attempt to calm the community.

"At the meetings they were very angry. We have also had prayers especially in the wards where everything happened. Through engagements [the community] have begun to understand. We just want the law to take its course."

The seven are accused of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

They are also accused of the murder of Zanele Hlatshwayo, 25, on August 18 at Rensburg Drift, Estcourt.

Four of them were arrested on August 18, after Mbatha allegedly walked into the local police station in possession of human body parts and confessed that he was tired of eating human flesh.

Lamula was arrested on Tuesday, August 22.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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