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#CannibalismCase: Bail application postponed to November 21

The four men in the #CannibalismCase appeared in the Estcourt Magistrate's Court today.

The second part of the bail application in the #CannibalismCase was heard in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court this morning. Khayelihle Lamula appeared alongside his co-accused Nino Mbatha, Sithembiso Sithole and Lungisani Magubane on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder.

The 32-year-old, during questioning, told the court that he lives in Rensburgdrift at two different homes, one with his wife and three children and at the other with his 87-year-old grandmother.

He said that he supported both households and provided for his children aged three, seven and one.Mr Lamula said that he worked as a driver and earned R1 500 transporting children daily to school and at times delivering sand.

ALSO SEE: VIDEO: #CannibalismCase: Bail application continues in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court

He further explained that on the day of his arrest, he was appearing in court on a stock theft charge, which was later withdrawn.
“I came to court in the morning and I was arrested in the night,” he said, this was while watching television at his aunt’s home in Rensburgdrift.

When asked by Legal Aid representative Ms Hadebe how he intends pleading, he responded with not guilty. He also confirmed that he would be relocating if granted bail.

During cross-examination from State Prosecutor Mr Zuma he admitted to knowing traditional healer Nino Mbatha as someone who ‘assisted’ others and admitted that he had visited him for a ‘charm’ to help with the stock theft case.

He was further questioned about an amount of R4 000 that he stated was paid to him, allegedly for his part in the kidnap and murder of the deceased.

He denied knowledge of this, saying he was told by police officer to state an amount that he was ‘hired for’ as a driver.

The second witness was Mthembeni Majola, councillor and resident in Rensburgdrift. He told the court that he believes the community would not accept the accused if they were granted bail.

Khayelihle Lamula appeared alongside his co-accused in court today.

He said that the community was ‘traumatised by the incident’ and believed that there were more suspects who have not been arrested.
Investigating Officer Kgatatso Matsena from the KwaZulu-Natal Harmful Related Crime and Corruption Unit was also called as a witness in the bail application.

ALSO READ: BREAKING NEWS: Three suspects in the cannibalism case are released

He testified that on the night that Sithembiso Sithole’s home was searched, police recovered a human hand, feet and an ear. The feet and ear were burnt. He explained to the court that five of the accused had been in the vehicle that was used to kidnap the deceased.
When pressed about producing evidence that linked the suspect’s to the murder, Mr Matsena said he would provide such evidence during trial.

He said he opposed bail on the grounds of the accused’s’ safety, that they may not return to court and the safety of the victim’s family, who is known to the accused.

Nino Mbatha and Sithembiso Sithole.

Mr Matsena also told the court that he was awaiting a forensic report from the University of Pretoria to confirm the identity of the human remains.

The matter was thereafter postponed to November 21 for further hearing as aspects of evidence like addresses for the accused were still to be verified.

All four men have been remanded in custody.

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Ronelle Mungaroo
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