ONE of the men arrested for allegedly trying to sell human body parts in the streets of Polokwane in Limpopo has claimed in court that the police assaulted and denied him food for days.
Edward Roatjie Mapayi, speaking through his lawyer Advocate Appo Molepo, told the Polokwane Magistrate Court that police repeatedly beat him up and even denied him access to his chronic medication.
“The accused was denied food or water since he was detained at Sekgosese police station and savagely assaulted by police,” said Molepo.
Mapayi (50) and Stanley Mohlake (35) appeared in court today on charges of murder and contravention of the Human Tissue Act.
Police said more charges could be added later.
The two were found allegedly in possession of a human head wrapped up in a newspaper on Sunday afternoon.
This was after police received a tip off that Mapayi and Mohlake were driving in and around Polokwane selling human body parts in broad daylight.
A day later, a badly burnt body was found at Mapela village north-west of Mokopane, about 100km from Polokwane.
Police alleged that Mohlake and Mapayi killed an unknown woman, burnt and dumped her body under a bridge in the area.
State prosecutor Maivel Machaba asked the court to postpone the case so that the Director of Public Prosecutions could determine whether it was a Schedule 5 or Schedule 6 offence.
He further told the court that Mapayi and Mohlake had helped the police identify the deceased’s body after their arrests.
The men’s appearance was not without drama.
When the court resumed after Mohlake’s consultation with Legal Aid lawyers, Mapayi refused to return to court room.
He cited concerns about the presence of photo journalists in the court room.
However, the court over-ruled him, saying the media couldn’t be barred from doing their work of informing the public for no apparent reason.
Magistrate Michael Mamabolo ordered that Mapayi be given access to medication and food.
He postponed the case to July 19 for formal bail application.
The men were not asked to plead.