Chaos erupted outside the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court on Thursday after police went head to head with community members who were not happy with the decision to withdraw charges against three accused in the “cannibals case”. Picture; DOCTOR NGCOBO
Durban - Charges against three of the seven people who were in August arrested for allegedly murdering and then eating a Shayamoya woman, have been dropped.
Nino Mbatha, Sithembiso Sithole, Lindokuhle ­Masondo, Wiseman Madlala and Sazi Ndlovu appeared in the Estcourt Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
The spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in KwaZulu-Natal, Natasha Kara, said the State had withdrawn the charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder against Masondo, Madlala and Ndlovu.
The State is, however, still pursuing charges against Mbatha and Sithole - who are believed to be traditional healers - as well as Lungisani Magubane and Khayelihle Lamula.
The four had previously abandoned bail.
But, Kara said, on Wednesday they indicated that they wanted to resume a bid.
The case was adjourned to later this month.
Police swooped on several people two months ago, after Mbatha walked into his local police station and told the officers on duty that he was tired of eating human flesh.
He subsequently produced part of a human leg and a hand.
Investigations led police to a house in Rensburgdrift, where more human remains were found.
They were eventually identified as belonging to 25-year-old Zanele Hlatshwayo, who had gone missing some months earlier.
Unhappy community members who had gathered outside the court, refused to leave after the court decision on Thursday. They threw litter on the road and taunted police, who fired tear gas at them to get them to disperse. 
The Mercury