Scott’s ex­tra­di­tion trial post­poned in­def­i­nitely

Lesotho Times - - News - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

The Dur­ban North Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day in­def­i­nitely post­poned a case in which Lehlo­honolo Scott is fight­ing ex­tra­di­tion to Le­sotho to face two mur­der charges.

Mag­is­trate Vanitha Armu post­poned the mat­ter after Scott’s new lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Maphumulo, re­quested the court to pro­vide him with records of when his client was de­nied bail in May in this year.

Ad­vo­cate Maphumulo, who took over from Scott’s pre­vi­ous lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Shameer Goolab­jith, told the court he needed the records to fa­mil­iarise him­self with the case.

Mag­is­trate Armu has since given Ad­vo­cate Maphumulo a chance to study the records but or­dered that both Scott’s lawyer and the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor re­port be­fore the court to­mor­row (Fri­day) to set a new date for the re­sump­tion of the trial.

Scott (27) is ac­cused of bru­tally killing two of his Koal­a­bata neigh­bours, Mo­holo­bela Seetsa (13) and Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata (22), in 2012. In ad­di­tion, he faces one charge of es­cap­ing from law­ful cus­tody fol­low­ing his dra­matic es­cape from Maseru Cen­tral Prison in Oc­to­ber 2012.

Dur­ing his bail ap­pli­ca­tion ear­lier this year, Scott claimed he was born in South Africa and was there­fore, a South African cit­i­zen.

Ad­vo­cate Goolab­jith, who quit the case shortly after fail­ing to se­cure bail for Scott in May this year, had ar­gued that the court had no power to deny his client bail as he faced no charges in South Africa.

Ad­vo­cate Goolab­jith also ar­gued the pros­e­cu­tion had not chal­lenged the authenticity of a South African birth cer­tifi­cate Scott had pro­vided show­ing that he was born in that coun­try.

But the now-re­tired pros­e­cu­tor Blackie Swart had counter-ar­gued that when Scott was ar­rested on 6 April this year, he was found in pos­ses­sion of a “fraud­u­lently ob­tained” South African iden­tity doc­u­ment.

Swart fur­ther said Scott’s dec­la­ra­tion that he had only lived in Le­sotho since 1999 had clearly been re­futed by a let­ter from his pri­mary school in Maseru, which showed he at­tended the in­sti­tu­tion from 1996.

Mag­is­trate Armu then shot down the bail-ap­pli­ca­tion ar­gu­ing there was a “very strong” case against Scott.

The mag­is­trate fur­ther ob­served Scott had “mys­te­ri­ously es­caped” from the Maseru Cen­tral Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion, where he awaited his trial, and fled to South Africa in Oc­to­ber 2012.

Scott re­mains in cus­tody at the Dur­ban North Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice.

LEHLO­HONOLO Scott

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