Published: December 13, 2018 9:40 PM EST
By: Brad Hunter
Two cannibals have been jailed for life after one was busted carrying a bag with a human hand and a leg inside.
When one surrendered to cops in South Africa, he told stunned detectives: “[I’m] tired of eating human flesh.”
Nino Mbatha, 33, and Lungisani Magubane, 32, were jailed for life Thursday for the murder of Zanele Hlatshwayo.
According to the Daily Mail, it was Mbatha — a self-proclaimed ‘traditional healer’ — that served up the sinister duo’s unappetizing antics to cops.
At first, cops believed Mbatha was pulling a sick joke on them.
But when he took detectives to a nearby house, they discovered more body parts.
Cops say Hlatshwayo was murdered and decapitated as part of a ritual killing performed by witch doctors to bring good luck.
Judge Peter Olsen described the murder as “heinous.”
The court was told that the female victim was beheaded by Mbatha who, with the help of Magubane, removed her internal organs, hands and feet in order to gain luck.
Mbatha told Magubane to eat the 24-year-old woman’s flesh for “good luck,” before claiming he was forced into cannibalism.
Another witch doctor killed himself before he could be brought to trial.
Cannibal who told police he was ‘tired of eating human flesh’ when he was caught with a human hand and leg is jailed for life in South Africa
- Nino Mbatha and Lungisani Magubane sentenced to life for murder of woman
- Zanele Hlatshwayo said to have been raped and murdered as part of ritual killing
- Traditional ‘healer’ Mbatha said cannibalism would bring Magubane good luck
- Members of small community of Esigodlweni dug up graves to give to Mbatha
Two cannibals, one of which was found carrying a bag with a human hand and a leg inside, have been jailed for life in South Africa.
One of the cannibals told officers when he turned himself into police that he was ‘tired of eating human flesh’.
Nino Mbatha, 33, and Lungisani Magubane, 32, were jailed for life today for the murder of Zanele Hlatshwayo.
Mbatha, said to be a ‘traditional healer’, was arrested after handing himself in at a police station in Estcourt, a town in KwaZulu-Natal province last year.
He was carrying a bag containing a human leg and a hand, telling officers he was ‘tired of eating human flesh’.
Police refused to believe his claims until he took officers to a house where more body parts were found.
Sitting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, judge Peter Olsen, said the pair were guilty of ‘the most heinous crime’, the Witness newspaper said.
The court heard that Ms Hlatshwayo had been beheaded by Mbatha who, with the help of Magubane, removed her internal organs, hands and feet in order to gain luck through ‘muthi’ – a term for traditional medicine in parts of southern Africa.
Mbatha was said to have instructed Magubane to eat the 24-year-old woman’s flesh for ‘good luck’, before claiming he was forced into cannibalism.
At earlier hearings in Estcourt, angry residents gathered outside the courthouse to protest against the grisly murder.
South Africa has no direct law against cannibalism, but mutilating a corpse and being in possession of human tissue are criminal offences.
A third man was acquitted today, with seven people initially arrested during the investigation.
A fourth man arrested and charged, Sithembiso Sithole, 31, died in prison after apparently killing himself while awaiting trial.
The trio of men were arrested after Mbatha went to police and more remains were found in a nearby house, leading to the discovery of a woman’s mutilated body, who was also said to have been raped.
After a meeting was held in the village of Esigodlweni, home to just 971 people, it emerged almost a third of the population had been digging up graves or eating residents.
In the aftermath of the arrests, villagers gathered in the community hall allegedly admitted tasting human flesh.
Two of the men initially arrested were said to be witch doctors, or traditional healers, and a third was on parole from jail at the time of the killing.
Community members were also said to have dug up graves under the orders of Mbatha to give him the bones.
When police were investigating officers discovered eight ears in a pot, local councillor Mthembeni Majola told the media.
People with albinism in some African countries are particularly at risk of ‘muti’ killings due to the belief held by some that their body parts impart power and health to those who eat them.
A man Durban was found with a human head in his backpack last July, as he was thought to be attempting to sell the head to a witch doctor.