A six-member gang believed to be responsible for the mass killing of young women on KwaZulu-Natal's south coast are expected to appear in the Umbumbulu magistrate's court on Wednesday.
They will appear together with a 63-year-old female sangoma who allegedly bought body parts from the group.
A heavily-armed guard contingent will be escorting the accused to court, and concerned residents are planning to protest outside the courthouse. The accused are suspected of terrorising the KwaMakutha, Umbumbulu, Folweni and Adams Mission communities for months.
They face charges of murder for allegedly killing 10 women and then cutting off their ears, apparently for muthi purposes.
The victims were tortured, said police, and all had similar head injuries, but it was their ears the serial killers were really after. In a few cases, tongues and even private parts had also been taken.
Three known survivors, aged between, 22, and 40, are being housed at a secret location for safety reasons.
Initially, the murders were believed to be the work of a lone serial killer operating in the area, but investigations implicated several other people.
Folweni community councillor Senza Shange said they would be carrying out a peaceful demonstration. He said one of the victims, who had her ears and private parts removed, was from his community and they wanted justice to be served.