A man so enraged with jealousy for his ex-girlfriend that he eliminates his competition by killing him isn't a rare occurrence. However, police in South Africa say a man described only as a "Zimbabwean" murdered his rival and then ate the deceased's heart with a knife and fork.
The Times Live reported June 12 that the former lover of Cape Town resident Nomonde Soloshe allegedly killed her new suitor, businessman Mbuyiselo Manona, by attacking him at his home Tuesday evening. A witness to the incident, a man who rented a room at the rear of Manona's house, alerted his neighbors as he fearfully ran to find help.
Many saw the body of the deceased as they later peered through the windows of the house. Some witnessed the mutilation of the body.
One neighbor, who said the former boyfriend had been hired to install windows in his ex-girlfriend's house, told the Times Live, ""When we got there the man kept muttering 'I am the king' and declaring his undying love for the woman.
"He then cut the heart out and ate it before the police came and took him away," they added.
According to Sowetan Live, another witness recounted, "The whole situation was crazy. We were shouting at him to stop, but he did not listen. Even when the police got here... the guys were scared to go in. They had to call for back-up."
The neighbor pointed out: "You can't really blame them - how do you go into a room with someone dripping another person's blood out of his mouth?"
West Cape commissioner Sharon Jephta said there was "definitely a love triangle" between Soloshe, Manona, and the alleged murderer.
Nomonde Soloshe reportedly had been with the two men earlier in the day. They had been chatting when she was given money to go buy some liquor. By the time she returned, Manona had been stabbed and her ex-boyfriend was devouring his heart.
Police were called to the scene at 10:30 p.m. When they arrived, they encountered a gruesome scenario.
"On the scene they found a suspect, a Zimbabwean, eating the heart of a human with a knife and fork," Western Cape police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said. "[The police] were informed that the victim had been stabbed on the left side of his chest and in his neck, and had a bite mark on the right side of his face."
Clinical psychologist Ian Meyer told Times Live that cannibalism "was not common [in South Africa] but it exists" and concluded that the act of cannibalism in this instance was a "primitive symbol of triumph." As for the particular case in question, he noted, "The police will have to determine if he was mentally defective when he allegedly committed the offence."
A close relative said that Manona had been in a relationship with Soloshe for four years.
This is the second time tragedy has struck one of Nomonde Soloshe's partners. In 1996, wealthy Cape Town businessman Bhekizulu Tshabalala, her husband at the time, was murdered by her alleged lover, Xolani Hobongwana.
The South African case marks the second reported occurrence of cannibalism in a week. Just four days prior, a former meat plant employee in Tennessee was arrested after killing, dismembering, and eating parts of a woman he had recently met. He was in the process of burying the leftover remains in his own yard when he was taken into custody.