Cannibal accused cries in dock

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Cape Town - Tears poured down the face of an alleged cannibal who stood in court accused of killing a Gugulethu and eating his heart with a knife and fork.

Andrew “Master Benson” Chimbozo, 34, appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. His bail application was postponed until next month, and he was referred to the district surgeon to determine if he needed mental observation.

Chimbozo, a Zimbabwean who lives in Langa, visited Nomonde Tshabalala in Gugulethu on June 10, and gave her money to buy liquor at a local shebeen.

It is alleged that while she was gone he stabbed her partner Mbuyiselo Manona, 62. Police arrived to find him eating Manona’s heart with a knife and fork.

On Thursday, Chimbozo emerged from the holding cells to the jeers of a packed public gallery.

He wore a beige overcoat, and stood with hands clasped behind his back in the dock.

While magistrate Keith le Keur made notes, Chimbozo’s legal aid counsel turned around to hand him a crumpled tissue.

 

Chimbozo cried silently throughout the brief proceedings and did not utter a word. As he turned to face the public benches on his way back down to the holding cells, disparaging comments from the crowd were audible.

A legal aid consultant remarked that after spending some time with Chimbozo, she felt sorry for him. She said he was polite, well-spoken and a “very nice man”.

Outside court, Letisha Vapi was coming to terms with the idea that the alleged cannibal was her niece’s partner.

Linetti Vapi, who has been in a relationship with Chimbozo for two years, is in hospital with tuberculosis.

Her aunt said Chimbozo had always treated her well, and visited her in hospital every day. “Even the day he killed somebody, he went to hospital first,” Letisha said. “He treated Linetti as a lady. He gave her everything. We were surprised when we heard about this.”

 

Vapi said Linetti had asked her to go to court to see if it was really him. “We are scared of him. What if this guy goes to my house and there’s only small children there? Will he eat them?”

Le Keur issued a provisional order banning the media from publishing photographs of Chimbozo. His bail application will begin on July 9.

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Cape Argus


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