Flesh crawls in village after muti arrests
A rural village in Escourt, KwaZulu-Natal, is abuzz with allegations of black magic, muti and cannibalism after four men, one of whom is a traditional healer, stand accused of murdering a woman and eating parts of her body.
The group made a brief appearance in the Estcourt Magistrate's Court yesterday charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Their arrests followed the confession of a man who walked into the Estcourt police station at the weekend, declaring to officers that he was tired of eating human flesh.
When officers questioned his outlandish statement, the man produced part of a human leg and a hand.
The man led detectives to a house in Rensburgdrift, where they were confronted with more remains.
The police discovered eight ears in a pot where one man was staying.Mthembeni Majola
Ward councillor Mthembeni Majola said residents had been shaken after hearing about the macabre discovery by police and held a meeting yesterday.
"There was a community meeting because I wanted to find out their position on this and the extent of the involvement of the accused. They came from our ranks. Their families confessed that they knew about the killings," he said.
Majola said that people whose relatives had disappeared were now urged to come forward.
"It cannot only be one body. The police discovered eight ears in a pot where one man was staying. That means there is much more to this," Majola said.
NPA spokesman Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said that the four suspects were remanded in custody.
"The four will appear again next week when they are expected to apply for bail," Ramkisson-Kara said.