Durban - OWING four loan sharks R6 000 in total, a Durban man turned to a traditional healer - but instead of seeking help from the healer, Lucky Khuzwayo, Philani Siyabonga Jojisa asked if he used human flesh in his concoctions, and how much he would pay?
Khuzwayo allegedly indicated that he might be interested in a human head, for which he would pay R20 000. Jojisa then enlisted a friend, Lehlohonolo Swartbooi, in his scheme and the pair plotted to find a victim.
In his guilty plea statement read out in the Durban High Court on Monday, Jojisa said he had been experiencing problems maintaining his family and a newborn.
He was earning R750 a week as a general worker at the time.
“I ended up turning to loan sharks. I borrowed money from four loan sharks and owed them about R6 000. Although I was trying to pay them, I realised that I was failing. I then came up with a strategy on how I was going to generate some extra cash.
“I remembered (hearing about) people who buy body parts, especially traditional healers, and that they allegedly use them for their medicine. I then decided to kill a human being and sell his/her body parts to a traditional healer,” he said.
Jojisa said he and Swartbooi were “concerned” about where they would get the human head so they could claim the R20 000.
While drinking at a local tavern and discussing the issue, 34-year-old Thembinkosi Nzimakwe walked in and joined them. They knew him from the area.
They finished a bottle of vodka together and asked the tavern owner for a bottle of whisky on credit, which the trio drank together.
“We were drunk to such an extent that Nzimakwe passed out at the tavern. That is when Swaartbooi and I decided to kill him, cut off his head and sell it.”
Jojisa left the tavern and went to his room to fetch a knife, backpack and an empty plastic bag.
“We took Nzimakwe to a bushy area far away from the tavern. While he lay on the ground, I took out the knife and cut his head off, completely dismembering it from the body. Swaartbooi was holding and pressing him down when I was cutting his throat,” said Jojisa.
He placed the head in the plastic bag and threw the body in the bush.
Jojisa took the head home, where his girlfriend was asleep.
He threw his blood-soaked clothes in a river, put on fresh clothing and went to bed.
On the morning of August 3, 2017 he phoned Khuzwayo and told him he had a head, and arranged to deliver it in the Warwick Triangle area.
Police arrived and arrested Jojisa while he waited for Khuzwayo and his “boys” to fetch the head.
He then co-operated with the police, leading them to Nzimakwe’s body, and writing a confession statement detailing how the murder was committed.
He apologised to Nzimakwe’s family for the pain he had caused them.
Nzimakwe, from Bizana in the Eastern Cape, had come to Durban looking for a job and was employed at the time of his murder.
Thobile Nzimakwe said his brother was the family breadwinner, and a respected member of the community.
“He was a good man who took care of his family. He always had a smile and would not harm a fly,” he said.
While Swartbooi pleaded not guilty on Monday, Jojisa is expected to be sentenced on Tuesday.