A 32-year-old South African man from the Eastern Cape was arrested after he allegedly tried to sell a dismembered penis, which was cut from a 68-year-old man.
The suspect appeared in the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of the unlawful possession of human tissue.
He was expected to be transferred to Mthatha, where he will face a charge of attempted murder.
Residents affected a citizen’s arrest after the suspect was found with the dismembered penis at a shopping mall in Butterworth last week on Thursday. Said police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Majola Nkohli:
It is believed that he was looking for a buyer in Butterworth. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the private parts were removed from a 68-year-old man in OR Tambo District.
Eastern Cape police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene, commended residents for arresting the suspect and described his actions as “inhumane”.
In South Africa, the unlawful possession of human tissue is a criminal offence under the National Health Act of 2003.
The law regulates the collection, use, and disposal of human tissue in order to prevent its misuse or exploitation.
Under the Act, it is illegal for any person to possess human tissue without a valid permit issued by the Director-General of Health.
Human tissue, according to the Act, is any part of a human body, including blood, bone marrow, organs, and tissues.
Those found guilty of unlawful possession of human tissue may face imprisonment for up to 15 years or a fine, or both.