Cape Town - A Gugulethu man was alive when his heart was ripped out last month and then allegedly cut into pieces to eat, the Athlone Magistrate's Court in Cape Town heard on Thursday.
Investigating officer Constable Mphumelelo Yengwa said he attended the autopsy of 62-year-old Mbuyiselo Manona, who was allegedly killed by Zimbabwean Andrew Chimboza, 35.
“It was conducted by Dr Allie. Dr Allie told me that the heart is not present in the deceased's body and therefore, when the heart was taken out, he could see that the deceased was still alive,” he testified during Chimboza's bail application.
“There were small pieces of meat. And those are the pieces that the doctor informed was the heart.”
On Wednesday, Chimboza, who runs a window-tinting business, said he stabbed Manona to death in self-defence at the home of a female client on Tuesday, June 10.
He rebutted the State's claim that he had eaten the heart and said the blood on his face was from a bash to the head and Manona's spurting wounds.
He could not confirm to prosecutor Quawnita Geyer that he had removed the heart, but conceded he may have made slashing movements with a knife.
Geyer asked Yengwa on Thursday how he found Manona when he arrived on the scene around 11pm.
“I could notice from the deceased lying on his back that he had a big wound right there by the right hand side of the neck... and there was a big hole in the chest underneath the left side of the breast,” Yengwa said.
“There was also three bread knives as well as a fork and all of them had blood.”
He read out the statement of the police officer who found and arrested Chimboza at the scene.
According to the statement, the arresting officer said Chimboza was talking with his mouth and hands full of raw meat, saying “I love you Nomonde (Manona's girlfriend). You are my wife. I did everything for free”.
The arresting officer saw a fork in a piece of heart on the floor. When he found the body, he saw the flesh between the head and the neck had been “half-eaten” and there was a hole on the left side of the chest.
According to the statement, Chimboza was still eating the flesh and the officer ordered him to stop.
The court ruled that the offence would be classified as a schedule five offence, and not as a schedule six offence as argued by the State, since there was no element of premeditation.
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.