Two men accused of cannibalism were given life sentences at the Pietermaritzburg High Court today. Nino Mbatha and Lungisani Magubane sit with their heads bowed after hearing their fate. Picture: Mphathi Nxumalo
Two men accused of cannibalism were given life sentences at the Pietermaritzburg High Court today. Nino Mbatha and Lungisani Magubane sit with their heads bowed after hearing their fate. Picture: Mphathi Nxumalo

Life sentences for two KZN 'cannibals'

By Mphathi Nxumalo Time of article published Dec 12, 2018

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Durban- Two men accused of cannibalism were given life sentences at the Pietermaritzburg High Court today. 

Nino Mbatha and Lungisani Magubane were facing murder charges for killing Zanele Hlatshawayo last year. They allegedly ate parts of her body.

The third accused, Khayelihle Lamula was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

In giving his sentence, Judge Peter Olson said public opinion about how the two men should be convicted "was neither here nor there" but he was guided by the interests of justice.

He said in a victim impact assessment report made by Philisiwe Hlatshwayo, Zanele's mother, was one of the "most meaningful" he had ever come across. 

He noted how heinous the crime was and that a life sentence was appropriate despite, personal circumstances given by the accused which included having to take of their children and elderly family members.

Olson also dismissed an appeal application made by Mbatha, saying that there was little chance that it would succeed. 

Magubane said he was going to consult with his family before making an application.

The trial has had garnered national and international attention. 

During the trial, grisly details of the murder of 24-year-old Hlatshwayo emerged with investigating officers saying that this was one the most terrifying scenes they had come across and how human remains were found in buckets and dishes in the men's houses. 

Daily News

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