The five men facing charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder related to cannibalism, from left to right, Nino Mbatha, Sithembiso Sithole, Lindokuhle Masondo, Lungisani Magubane and Khayelihle Lamula, in the dock at the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Bongani Mbatha

Durban - Five men, arrested for suspected cannibalism, are expected to appear in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

In August , a 32-year-old traditional healer went to the Estcourt Community Service Centre, to report that he was in possession of human body parts, KwaZulu-Natal police said at the time. 

"He led police officials to his home in Estcourt where more body parts were recovered. Charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of human body parts were opened and the suspect was arrested," spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said at the time.

Mbhele said that investigations were conducted and an appeal was made to the community who have missing relatives to contact the police. DNA tests were conducted on the families that came forward.

"It was confirmed that the recovered body parts were that of Zanele Hlatshwayo, 25, and her family was immediately informed. More arrests were made and five additional suspects aged between 29 and 32 were arrested," Mbhele said. 

The five men were remanded in custody until their court appearance on Thursday.