Scott’s extradition trial postponed indefinitely
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.