Cannibals eat women in South African villages

Zanele Hlatshwayo, 25, is thought to be the woman who was murdered and cut up before her flesh was shared around neighbours

Woman, 25, believed to be the victim of cannibals in South Africa who were arrested after one of them walked into a police station holding an arm and a leg and said he had lost the taste for human flesh.

This is believed to be the victim of five cannibals who were arrested after the brutal rape and murder of a young woman whose flesh was then eaten in a scandal that is rocking South Africa.

Zanele Hlatshwayo, 25, is thought to be the woman who was murdered and cut up before her flesh was shared around neighbours in an unfolding cannibal saga in Estcourt, a town in the uThukela District of KwaZulu-Natal Province.

More than 300 people in surrounding villages have so far admitted to knowingly eating human flesh, and at the home of one of the arrested men eight human ears were found in a cooking pot.

Many villagers have come forward to report relatives and friends missing leading to police fear there could be many more victims.

Hlatshwayo’s mother, Philiswe, now fears the worst after police showed the family blood-soaked clothing found on what was left of the body which appeared to belong to that of her daughter, from Shayamoya.

Hlatshwayo vanished on July 25 after heading for Pietermaritzburg to visit her grandmother and had stopped to see relatives at Estcourt 20 miles away en-route. She never arrived at her intended final destination.

Detectives said the alleged victim’s mother was not overly concerned, but her feelings changed on Monday when Hlatshwayo’s cousin Nozipho Hlatshwayo heard that four men had been arrested in Estcourt for cannibalism.

They, along with a fifth man, have been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder as part of an alleged cannibalism ring which could include untold victims.

The first four arrested, including two which doctors, were taken into custody after a man walked into a police station and told officers he was ‘tired of eating human flesh’ and produced human body parts as proof.

A fifth man was arrested on Wednesday and will appear in court with the other four on Monday for a formal bail hearing.

Hlatshwayo's cousin, Nozipho Hlatshwayo, has spoken out about the woman's July disappearance
Hlatshwayo’s cousin, Nozipho Hlatshwayo, has spoken out about the woman’s July disappearance

Nozipho, with tears in her eyes, said:’We went straight to the police. An officer asked us what Zanele had been wearing on the day she left home. I was so close to Zanele that I knew even the colour of underwear she had on the day.

‘She wore black leggings, a shirt and a bag in which she had stuffed her jeans. I gave the police officer this description and he asked us to wait.’

When the police officer returned, he carried into the room what Nozipho believes is the outfit Hlatshwayo had been wearing – soaked in blood.

They were told an armless, beheaded and severely mutilated body had been found in Esigodlweni, east of Estcourt, in a veld.

The Hlatshwayos are among about half-a-dozen families who have since gone to police in Estcourt to check whether their missing loved ones were victims in the cannibalism scandal that has rocked the largely rural community.

Nozipho said that just before Hlatshwayo left for Pietermaritzburg she had spoken to them about apparent kidnappings in the area. She was reportedly worried that abductions were on the rise.

Nozipho said: ‘The police would not show us her body and the body has been sent for a post-mortem. The body will not be released until the identity is confirmed. – Mailonline

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