A suspected serial killer in Zimbabwe has denied cannibalizing his homeless victims, whose skulls he crushed as they slept on the streets of the capital Harare.
Thadolwenkosi Ndlovu, 20, has been linked to a series of five murders that took place across the city between August 28 and September 4, when he was arrested by Zimbabwe police.
Appearing in court in Harare on Wednesday, Ndlovu appeared to retract his earlier confession that he cooked and ate his victims’ flesh. He claimed that detectives had obtained the confession to cannibalism under duress.
Mr Ndlovu, who preyed on the homeless population in Harare, is reported to have murdered his victims by throwing concrete blocks at their heads while they slept before harvesting their organs using broken glass.
It is alleged that he roasted and roasted the entrails of the victims on an open fire before consuming them. Police said Ndlovu had also attempted to cut off the genitals of one of his victims, but he fled the scene before he could do so.
Thandolwenkosi Ndlovu, 20, right, allegedly murdered and cannibalized the victims of a massacre that terrorized homeless people in Harare between August 28 and September 4.
Mr Ndlovu, seen here in torn trousers, is also reported to be linked to three murder cases in his hometown of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city.
Mr Ndlovu, who was also reportedly homeless, has been remanded in custody.
Two of Mr. Ndlovu’s five victims have been identified. They were named Emmanuel Godfrey, 25, and Kutenda Chisanduro, whose age has not yet been revealed.
Mr Ndlovu is charged with five counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He is also believed to have previously spent periods in prison in both Harare and Bulawayo, his hometown.
He is also reported to be linked to three murder cases in Bulawayo, southwestern Zimbabwe, in 2020.
There was widespread fear among Harare’s large homeless population as word spread about Mr Ndlovu’s murders. Reports suggested that some had begun sleeping in groups for safety or had temporarily left Harare.
“We decided to leave the city fearing for our lives,” said a homeless man The Herald.
“I’m lucky to be alive, I could be dead by now.” Imagine being roasted to taste it,” said 16-year-old Panashe Uchena. The standard. ‘He has been arrested, but I am still afraid. The streets are no longer safe.”
Detectives say Mr. Ndlovu, center, was wearing bloody clothing when he was arrested on September 4.
Mr Ndlovu is reported to have moved to neighboring South Africa from Bulawayo with his father and sister in 2019. He is said to have had difficulties there before returning to Zimbabwe.
George Kandiyero, president of the National Association of Traditional Healers of Zimbabwe, said reports of Mr Ndlovu’s killings suggested ritual purposes.
‘It could be madness, but at the same time it could be his belief of gaining some power from it. This is definitely on the dark side and not clear at all,” she explained.
While police said they had found no evidence to indicate the killings were carried out for any ritual purpose, Kandiyero said he had met with officials to discuss the case.
Ndlovu’s killing spree comes just a year after another serial killer, Bright Zhantali, was arrested in connection with nine murders in a town in central Zimbabwe.