Cannibal who walked into a police station with a human hand jailed for life
Law enforcement doesn't expect for the offenders behind the most horrific crimes to confess out of nowhere - and they especially don't expect them to turn up to the station to hand themselves in. But that's exactly what a man in South Africa did, confessing that not only was he eating human flesh - but he was 'fed up' of doing it.
Nino Mbatha reportedly turned up to the station, before pulling a severed hand and leg from a pink school bag to show the officers. Soon, more body parts from the young female victim was discovered, and four men were implicated in the crime. After a trial this week, Mbatha and his accomplice, Lungisani Magubane, both 32, were found guilty of killing 24-year-old mother Zanele Hlashwayo in Estcourt, South Africa. Both were said to have eaten parts of her body.
After hearing a "meaningful" statement from the victim's mother, Judge Peter Olson sent both men to prison for life. He also dismissed an appeal application by Mbatha at Pietermaritzburg High Court, IOL reports.
Another accomplice, Sithembiso Sithole, was also charged for the crimes, but died in prison after apparently completing suicide before the trial. A fourth man, Khayelihle Lamula, was acquitted due to a lack of evidence.
“I thought he was mentally unstable because he kept speaking out of turn,” Constable Ryan Ntshalintshali said of Mbatha's appearance in the station. “He was shouting, ‘I need the police’s help because I am tired of being forced to eat human flesh.’”
“He pointed to the bag and said there are human parts in here. He opened the bag and took out what looked like a hand and put it on the counter.”
“He then took out a red takkie (shoe) from the bag, and a horrible smell came with it. It was at this point that I told him I was placing him under arrest on suspicion of murder.”
The officer explained that Mbatha later led authorities to a one-room house, where he claimed he was being held captive and forced to eat human meat. “I followed the accused into the room where he retrieved a small dish,” he told the court. “Inside the dish, I saw something shaped like an ear and what appeared to be jaws. He then picked up another bucket that appeared to have intestines in it.”
Prosecutors claimed that Magubane and Lamula went to Mbatha, a supposed traditional healer, to bring them good fortune. He was then said to insist that their 'ancestors' needed blood to be spilled as part of the ritual.
Zanele became a victim of the attackers after Lamula reportedly found her inebriated, taking her to his car. He then picked up his accomplices, driving them all to a secluded spot - where Mbatha killed Zanele. Surprisingly, Mbatha, Magubane and Lamula all denied murdering Zanele, despite confessing to eating her remains.