Two health officials have been suspended after they were allegedly found in possession of human body parts, the Mpumalanga health department said on Wednesday.
The two employees work at the Ermelo Hospital and the Lothair Clinic, respectively, the department said.
Mpumalanga Health MEC Sasekani Manzini said she was “shocked and dismayed” about the incident.
“Such dehumanising acts are indeed barbaric and as the department, we do not condone such illegal activities,” Manzini said.
Jabulani Sam Mnguni, 45, and Pascal Mandla Gininda, 49, were arrested on Sunday and have since appeared in the Eerstehoek Magistrate’s Court.
Manzini said the department will allow the law to take its course while an internal investigation is being conducted.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said their arrest follows an intelligence operation.
“Their arrest spirals from an intelligence-driven operation which prompted police to follow up on information regarding a red sedan which was on its way to Elukwatini with two occupants conveying human body parts,” Hlathi said.
The suspects’ vehicle was intercepted at the Lochiel-Nhlazatshe intersection. Police thoroughly searched the vehicle and discovered a leg, placenta, and a knee that was separately collected from a house.
Both officials remain in custody pending a bail application on 15 July.
A 41-year-old man was also taken in for questioning on Monday as part of probing in a similar case.