Cannibalism accused claims self defence

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Cape Town - A Zimbabwean, who was found apparently eating the heart of a man he had allegedly killed, had acted in self defence, the Athlone Magistrate's Court in Cape Town heard on Wednesday.

Andrew Chimboza, 35, who runs a window-tinting business, said he visited a female client in Gugulethu at night to check her windows.

Testifying during his bail application, he said he was met at the door by her very belligerent boyfriend, Mbuyiselo Manona, 62.

He said he did not know Manona and denied having anything more than a friendship with his female client, saying she helped him out when he moved from Zimbabwe to Cape Town in 2009.

Chimboza has been charged with stabbing Manona to death. Police reportedly said he was found eating a human heart with a knife and fork.

Chimboza denied this and said he fought off an attack from Manona, whom he described as tall, broad, strong, and taller than him.

He appeared to be well-spoken in the dock as he described what happened when his female client left him alone to buy alcohol on June 10.

Chimboza said he came out of the bathroom and Manona shouted, called him names, and struck him on the forehead.

He fell to the floor and cutlery clattered to the tiles around him when Manona reached for a knife in the wardrobe.

Chimboza said he kicked Manona in the groin, then swung a fork at him, scratching him on the side of the neck.

They wrestled and he jabbed Manona again.

“Then I went for the throat and the chest. That's when I blacked out at that moment because I have never been in that situation,” Chimboza testified.

“That's when I swung the knife. He didn't die instantly. He was still coming onto me so I had to continue stabbing. He was so strong. I was in shock, in a shocked state.”

His lawyer Tracey Dowman said the State alleged he was found eating Manona's heart when police arrived.

“I did not eat the heart. It was the blood that was full on my face and they saw the forks on the tiles besides the deceased and they assumed that's when I was eating the heart,” Chimboza replied.

He said he should be granted bail because he had never killed anyone, was a well-liked businessman and had to look after his sick partner in hospital.

He suffered from tuberculosis and needed to continue taking medication.

“I didn't expect to bump into that situation. I was there for work.”

Prosecutor Quawnita Geyer argued the charge should be classified as a schedule six offence because she believed it was premeditated and that Manona's heart had been removed, which required thought and planning.

Dowman argued the offence should be classified as schedule five because there was no element of planning.

In terms of schedules five and six of the Criminal Procedure Act an accused must show it is in the interests of justice to be released on bail. According to schedule six however they also have to show that exceptional circumstances exist to justify their release.

The bail application continues.


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