Cops find man hacking head off victim

Eastern Cape police caught an Engcobo serial killer hacking off the head off one of his victims in the front yard of his mud hut home, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

”He was … using a pick and hammer to take off the head … It was very gruesome,” said Superintendent Mzukisi Fatyela.

Police found four headless bodies at the man’s home — all believed to be those of his neighbours, he said.

They were also regular customers of their 37-year-old killer, who sold liquor from his home.

”We believe that the four went to buy liquor from the man, either together or one at a time, and were then attacked … He probably beat them up before decapitating them,” Fatyela said.

Police made the gruesome find after community members watched the man stab a 23-year-old to death with a pick axe in Xhibeni locality at 1pm on Monday.

As the police entered the man’s yard, he stopped dismembering the corpse and charged at them with the pick. Police then shot him in the leg.

”After the arrest we went inside his house and found three other headless bodies — of a 65-year-old man, 34-year-old man and a 37-year-old man.

”They were buried inside a shallow grave inside the house, and their heads were in plastic bags lying next to their bodies.”

Police took the man to a nearby hospital for questioning, but had to move him when community members came looking for him.

”We moved him from the hospital to police custody because community members were very angry, and they still are.”

Police had searched the premises for more buried bodies, but had not found any. The motive for the killings was not known.

A case of murder was being investigated and the man was expected to appear in the Engcobo Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, said Fatyela. — Sapa

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