Life sentence for KZN “canniba

Photoo: Pixabay

Life sentence for KZN “cannibals”: How a bizarre confession led to conviction

After Nino Mbatha produced human remains at a police station, he and Lungisani Magubane were convicted and handed life stentences for the murder of Zanele Hlatshwayo.

Life sentence for KZN “canniba

Photoo: Pixabay

Two KwaZulu-Natal men have each been handed a life sentence for the murder of 24-year-old Zanele Hlatshwayo, who was murdered last year.

Nino Mbatha and Lungisani Magubane were found guilty of the grisly crime at the Pietermaritzburg High Court earlier this week, while a third accused, Khayelihle Lamula was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

They are also accused of eating parts of her body, as they were nabbed after a confession from one of them led police to search their houses, where human remains were found in buckets and dishes.

The bizarre events that led to the pair’s conviction   

During court proceedings, it was heard that Mbatha, a traditional healer, had walked into the Eastcourt police station, where he told one of the officers on duty that he was “tired of eating human flesh”.

He urged the police to hurry up and not allow those “detaining” him to escape, and proceeded to produce a human hand and leg from his bag, causing community members who were present at the police station to flea.

Mbatha led police to his house, which Judge Peter Olson described as a “disgusting mess”, and more human remains were discovered.

He told police of a man known only as “Mchunu” who, when questioned, revealed that Magubane was somehow involved.

Mbatha would later go back on his confession, while Magubane claimed he was made to sign blank documents which, according to him, went on to contain a statement in his name.

“What happened in this case is truly awful. It was the stuff of nightmares. How one would react in such circumstances is unpredictable. One may well want to unburden oneself of guilt, but later have second thoughts,” Olson said.

The third accused, Lamola, also made a statement which linked him to the murder, claiming that he had driven a woman to a farm, and later heard that she had been murdered.

However, his attorney Lauren Marais argued that the state had failed to prove that the woman in question was indeed Hlatshwayo.