A South African man has been sentenced to 24 years in jail after he was found guilty of the brutal murder of a victim whose body parts he had attempted to sell to a local community and across the border in Lesotho.

Mdaki Joseph Tladi was found guilty of the murder of Pius Maqala Tshabalala, 37, in the Bethlehem Magistrates court where he appeared to hear his fate on Tuesday.

SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said that the local community had found Tshabalala’s body on the outskirts of  Zone Seven in Meqheleng on 30 June 2018.

He said the victim had sustained stab wounds, his throat had been slit and several body parts were missing.

Makhele said a local detective received a tip off regarding a man who had been seen selling body parts, and he investigated the lead.

“Detective Sergeant Mohlomi Mofolo received  information about the murder suspect that had been seen selling human body parts and later was reported to have crossed the Caledon River illegally to Lesotho where it  was suspected that he had a prospective body part dealer,” Makhele said.

However, Mofolo did not give up on the investigation and followed up a fresh lead when Tladi later returned to the country.

“A year later  detective Mofolo received a information that the suspect came back to visit his mother in Zone Six and he managed to arrest him,” Makele said.

Makhele said Tladi had been remanded in custody during his trail at which he was found guilty of premeditated murder.

He appeared in the Bethlehem Magistrates Court on Tuesday for sentencing for the murder.

“Tladi was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment for premeditated murder and has been declared unfit to possess a firearm,” Makhele said.

According to a report on human body part trafficking by it is difficult to determine how prevalent muti-killings or body parts trafficking is in South Africa, as these types of cases are normally registered as murder.

Commander of harmful occult related crimes, Colonel Attie Lamprecht speaking to SAfm who was cited in the report said: “These types of cases are merely registered as murder.”

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