Drama as Scott re­turns

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

DOU­BLE rit­ual mur­der sus­pect lehlo­honolo Scott was ex­tra­dited from South Africa mid­morn­ing yes­ter­day amid tight se­cu­rity and jostling by mem­bers of the pub­lic who wanted a close look at the in­fa­mous 30-year-old Koal­a­bata res­i­dent.

Scott es­caped from Maseru Cen­tral Pri­son on 14 Oc­to­ber 2012 while await­ing trial for the al­leged mur­der of fel­low Koal­a­bata res­i­dents Mo­holo­bela Seetsa (13) and Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata (22) in Jan­uary and June 2012, re­spec­tively.

He had been ar­rested on 12 July 2012 along­side his mother ’Malehlo­honolo, fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of Seetsa and Mo­hata’s mu­ti­lated bod­ies in Koal­a­bata.

Af­ter al­most two years on the run, Scott was ar­rested in Dur­ban on 6 April 2014 and lost his fight against ex­tra­di­tion in the Veru­lam Mag­is­trate’s Court on 5 May this year.

Shortly af­ter 10am yes­ter­day, Scott ar­rived at the Maseru Bridge Bor­der Post in the com­pany of five South African In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Po­lice Or­gan­i­sa­tion (In­ter­pol) of­fi­cers.

The Le­sotho Times crew wit­nessed as the of­fi­cers met with mem­bers of the South African Po­lice Ser­vice (SAPS) sta­tioned at the bor­der dur­ing which some brief pa­per­work was done. Scott re­mained seated in a white Mercedes Benz kombi while the two par­ties did the pa­per­work.

even­tu­ally, he was as­sisted out of the ve­hi­cle with his legs cuffed, with the of­fi­cers im­me­di­ately sur­round­ing their vis­i­bly shaken cap­tive and cov­er­ing his head with a white cloth to shield him from cu­ri­ous on­look­ers.

The of­fi­cers also warned jour­nal­ists against tak­ing pho­to­graphs of their pris­oner as they led him to the im­mi­gra­tion coun­ters where his travel doc­u­ments were checked and stamped.

Scores of le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Unit (SOU) mem­bers had now ar­rived in a Quan­tum kombi to re­ceive Scott from their South African coun­ter­parts. And fol­low­ing an­other brief­ing which took al­most 30 min­utes, Scott was trans­ferred from the Mercedes Benz kombi to a le­sotho po­lice white Toy­ota Corolla.

A con­voy of le­sotho po­lice ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing the Quan­tum kombi full of heav­ily armed SOU mem­bers, then breezed through the le­sotho side of the bor­der and headed straight for the High Court.

At the court, Scott was brought be­fore Jus­tice Te­boho Joseph Moiloa, who re­manded him in cus­tody un­til 23 Novem­ber 2015, when his trial is ex­pected to re­sume.

Jus­tice Moiloa de­cided to post­pone the mat­ter af­ter Ad­vo­cate Thapelo Mokuku, who is prose­cut­ing the case, told the court that Scott’s lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Thulo Hoeane, was not present to rep­re­sent his client.

But be­fore pro­nounc­ing his de­ci­sion, Jus­tice Moiloa asked Scott if Ad­vo­cate Hoeane was still his lawyer.

“yes my lord; to my knowl­edge, Ntate Thulo (Hoeane) is still my lawyer,” Scott re­sponded.

Asked by the judge where the lawyer was, Scott said he did not know.

Jus­tice Moiloa then ruled: “The court re­mands you and post­pones this case to Mon­day 23 Novem­ber 2015. This is to al­low you to make con­tact with your lawyer. In the mean­time, both coun­sel should meet and dis­cuss how we are go­ing to deal with this mat­ter to fi­nal­ity. you will re­main in cus­tody pend­ing this trial. And I am ap­peal­ing to you to be­have while you are in there.”

Soon af­ter this an­nounce­ment, Scott was taken to the Maseru Cen­tral Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice.

Con­tacted late yes­ter­day, Ad­vo­cate Hoeane told the Le­sotho Times he was not in court to rep­re­sent Scott be­cause he had not been in­formed that his client was be­ing ex­tra­dited yes­ter­day.

“I didn’t know that my client was ap­pear­ing be­fore the court to­day, and nei­ther was I in­formed about his ex­tra­di­tion. even as we speak, I haven’t re­ceived for­mal com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the pros­e­cu­tion side or any­body else for that mat­ter, to in­form me about this lat­est de­vel­op­ment,” Ad­vo­cate Hoeane said.

Asked if he was still go­ing to rep­re­sent Scott, Ad­vo­cate Hoeane said: “Def­i­nitely yes. I am rep­re­sent­ing Scott and his mother on prodeo terms. This means I am paid by the gov­ern­ment to rep­re­sent them. I sub­mit my bills to the reg­is­trar of the High Court and Court of Ap­peal for ap­proval. So, yes, I re­main their lawyer.”

Mean­while, dur­ing his ex­tra­di­tion hear­ings be­fore the Dur­ban North Mag­is­trate’s Court, Scott ar­gued his name was lehlo­honolo Mokhele and also that he was a South African, not a le­sotho cit­i­zen.

But Mag­is­trate Vanitha Armu shot down this ar­gu­ment on the grounds there was enough ev­i­dence prov­ing he was from le­sotho.

On 5 May 2015, the court ruled Scott should be ex­tra­dited to le­sotho.

The mag­is­trate said he had been con­vinced Scott was “the right per­son” wanted by the le­sotho gov­ern­ment in con­nec­tion with the killing of Seetsa and Mo­hata. The mu­ti­la­tion of the bod­ies led to spec­u­la­tion that the two had been killed for rit­ual pur­poses. In ad­di­tion to mur­der, Scott would also be charged with es­cap­ing from law­ful cus­tody.

LE­SOTHO Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions unit mem­bers es­cort the car fer­ry­ing Scott through Maseru bridge bor­der Post yes­ter­day. All Pics: Thabelo Mona­mane.

SCOTT ar­rives in le­sotho un­der tight se­cu­rity.

PEO­PLE rush to see Scott af­ter hear­ing of his ar­rival at the High Court.

ON-LOOK­ERS at the Maseru bridge bor­der Post wait to catch a glimpse of lehlo­honolo Scott.

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