A Zimbabwean who killed and mutilated his ex-client’s boyfriend will hear later in the week whether he is to serve 15 years or more for his deeds, the Western Cape High Court said on Monday.
Judge Ashley Binns-Ward listened to final arguments in respect of 35-year-old Andrew Chimboza and said he would deliver sentence on Wednesday.
According to Chimboza’s lawyer, Yasmine Rajap, the minimum sentence of 15 years in jail for murder was appropriate in the absence of substantial and compelling circumstances.
Chimboza had pleaded guilty to killing 62-year-old Mbuyiselo Manona, was remorseful, had spent almost eight months in custody, and was a first time offender when it came to murder, Rajap said.
She believed her client’s anger issues could be rehabilitated through programs and psychotherapy in prison.
“I am asking the court to give the benefit of the doubt to the accused that there is a chance of rehabilitation.”
Unable to find previous cases on cannibalism, she referred to the case of Mark Scott-Crossley, one of the men who threw a worker’s body to lions in Hoedspruit in 2004, and was released on parole in 2008.
She said there was a difference between throwing an injured man and a corpse to lions.
“The revulsion that one has for another human being eating human flesh should be tempered accordingly,” she said, applying the same logic to the present matter.
Chimboza stated in his plea explanation that he stabbed Manona to death at the home of a former client last June after a disagreement.
He alleged Manona attacked him with a knife. He retaliated by kicking him in the groin, stabbing him in the neck with a fork, and then repeatedly stabbing him in the neck, chest, and abdomen with a knife.
Manona was his ex-client’s lover, who apparently accused Chimboza of having sex with his partner.
The doctor who performed the post mortem was presented with a bag containing neatly diced pieces of Manona’s heart.
Prosecutor Jacqueline Sibiya argued that a jail term of 20 years would serve as a deterrent not only to Chimboza but to other would-be offenders.
She recommended the sentence because the murder was gruesome and because she did not believe the accused was truly remorseful.
While the State would like to see Chimboza rehabilitated, it believed the chances of success were slim because he had not “played open cards” with the court.
Sibiya said it was bizarre that he had remembered the events leading up to the murder so clearly, but struggled to remember the actual murder, and was then adamant that he had not eaten Manona’s heart.
“My submission is that the reason why the accused does not want to disclose what happened… is because he did not want to paint a negative picture of himself.”
Binns-Ward said he had a feeling that there was much that he did not know about what really happened that night.
It was also difficult to say whether Chimboza could be rehabilitated. SAPA