update


#CannibalismCase postponed for further investigation (Video included)

Lawyer for accused, Ms Hadebe consults her clients earlier this morning.

The #CannibalismCase resumed today in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court. As the state verses Nino Mbatha, Sithembiso Sithole, Lungisani Magubane and Khayelihle Lamula, the case was on the roll for further investigation.

ALSO READ: #CannibalismCase: Suspects appear in court today

State Prosecutor, Mr Zuma  told the court that the body parts recovered have been sent to the University of Pretoria to determine the age and gender of the deceased.

Due to certain issues that arose the age could not be determined and the body parts were returned. On September 26, 2017 the post mortem was concluded and 21 body tissues needed to be merged to pick up the DNA.

The body tissues were then sent to the Pretoria Forensic Laboratory. Mr Zuma further explained  it is here that compiling of swabs for DNA is dealt with.

Problems were then experienced and resulted in a delay. The laboratory explained to Mr Zuma that the tissues were sent to the biology section for processing.

“From the bones and tissues that were recovered DNA will be extracted, but as you are aware, not all 21 body tissues can assist in extracting DNA,” he added.

According to Colonel Gunay from the Pretoria Forensic Laboratory, four weeks is needed to finalise everything. Due to a train crash, the lab is flooded with bodies at the moment, Mr Zuma reported.

READ THIS: FULL STORY: #CannibalismCase: Court proceedings from yesterday

“We are on this matter for five months now, it usually takes less than this to finalise, but we need to remember the complexity of the case , all the body parts involved, and we have dealt with  bail. If it was not for the train crash, we would have been done. A request for postponement is not unreasonable at this point,” Mr Zuma concluded.

Lawyer for accused, Ms Hadebe asked when  the body parts were sent to the laboratory.  Mr Zuma answered on December 14.  She added that if once the four weeks have lapsed with no results, she would open an application of unreasonable delay.

Magistrate Sookraj announced to the court that the complexity of the case was outlined and that it will be postponed to February 27 for futher investigation. The accused will remain in custody until then.

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  AUTHOR
Danielle Greaves
Journalist

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