Court adjourns beheading case

The murder trial has been postponed alter the accused was sent for assessment. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

THE murder case of a unidentified woman found beheaded and mutilated in Umbilo, Durban, has been adjourned to February 7 and the suspect remanded in custody. Mbuso Khumalo, 32, had an additional charge of rape added to the charge sheet during his previous court appearance last week.

His appearance before magistrate Mohamed Motala was delayed because Khumalo had been taken to a district surgeon. State prosecutor Denette Cole said the accused had been taken to the surgeon due to the nature of the crime and for a medical assessment. “Also another mutilated body found in the same area and the police are looking for possible links between the two,” Cole said.

Khumalo kept his head down as the charges were read out in court. The matter was adjourned for further investigation to allow Khumalo to brief a Legal Aid lawyer. “Until then you will be remanded in custody and returned to the police cells. On February 7, you can decide whether you wish to apply for bail or not,” Motala said.

Khumalo was arrested after the gruesome discovery of a headless body of a woman by a passer-by in the bushes at Pigeon Valley in Umbilo. The suspect, the son of an inyanga (traditional healer) from the Zululand district, was eventually arrested on January 29 last week. “A thorough interrogation led to the recovery of the missing finger as well as the head belonging to the victim,” police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbhele said.

The deceased who has yet to be identified is believed to be in her 30s. Mbhele said the body was found on January 23 half naked and some body parts including the head were missing. An appeal had been made to anyone with a missing family member or who can identify the victim to contact the Umbilo police station on 031 203 2407/6 or Crime Stop on 0860010111.