The fifth suspect in the “human flesh consumption” case showed up quickly at the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday evening, a court official said on Thursday.
Khayelihle Lamula, 32, of Esigodlweni range in Estcourt, faces a charge of connivance to confer kill and a murder accusation.
The media had been told by the police’s commonplace interchanges office that he would show up on Thursday, however when they landed in court they were informed that Lamula showed up the earlier day.
Lamula, who was captured on Tuesday night, showed up before Magistrate Arti Sookraj.
He was remanded in authority until Monday, August 28, for a formal safeguard application.
He allegedly walked into the station with human body parts and “confessed to eating human flesh”
All five of them are accused of the murder of Zanele Hlatshwayo, 25, on August 18 at Rensburg Drift, Estcourt.
A court official, who is not allowed to speak to the media, told News24 that Mbatha is kept at the Pietermaritzburg holding cells because “he wants to confess to both the charges against him”.
“He is being kept away from others for his own safety,” the official said.
The others are in custody at Estcourt.
The official said they are anticipating a protest outside court on Monday.
“Residents of Esigodlweni are planning to oppose bail in the matter,” said the official.
Security would be beefed up.
“Security guards from our head office in Pietermaritzburg will be deployed outside court,” the official said.
Hundreds of residents were outside court when Mbatha and the co-accused made their first appearance in court on Monday.