Scott re­jects bail

. . . as lawyer claims in­ves­ti­ga­tors are forc­ing the dou­ble mur­der sus­pect to im­pli­cate top politi­cians

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Brian Chi­wanza and Tefo Tefo

DOU­BLE rit­ual mur­der sus­pect Lehlo­honolo Scott said he was not go­ing to ap­ply for bail when he ap­peared be­fore Chief Mag­is­trate ‘Matankiso Nthunya yes­ter­day.

The 30-year-old had been brought be­fore the court to be read his new charge — that of es­cap­ing from law­ful cus­tody.

Scott was await­ing trial for al­legedly killing his Koal­a­bata neigh­bours, Mo­holo­bela Seetsa (13) and Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata (22), when he broke out of Maseru Cen­tral Pri­son on 14 Oc­to­ber 2012 and fled to South Africa.

He had been ar­rested on 12 July 2012 along­side his mother, ’Malehlo­honolo, fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of Seetsa and Mo­hata’s mu­ti­lated bod­ies in Koal­a­bata in Jan­uary and June 2012 re­spec­tively. The mu­ti­la­tion led to claims that the vic­tims had been mur­dered for rit­ual pur­poses.

Af­ter two years on the run, Scott was ar­rested in Dur­ban on 6 April 2014, but when he ap­peared be­fore the Dur­ban North Mag­is­trate’s Court, Le­sotho’s most wanted fugi­tive claimed he was a South African and not a Le­sotho cit­i­zen.

How­ever, af­ter the Veru­lam Mag­is­trate’s Court dis­missed his claim, Scott launched an un­suc­cess­ful le­gal bid to stop his ex­tra­di­tion to Le­sotho.

He was even­tu­ally ex­tra­dited on 21 Oc­to­ber and ap­peared be­fore High Court judge, Jus­tice Te­boho Joseph Moiloa, the same day.

The judge re­manded him in cus­tody un­til 23 Novem­ber 2015 when his mur­der trial is set to re­sume.

How­ever, the vis­i­bly shaken Scott was brought be­fore the Maseru Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day for his ad­di­tional charge, which was read to him by Pros­e­cu­tor Thapelo Mokuku.

Ac­cord­ing to Ad­vo­cate Mokuku, Scott was be­ing charged with con­tra­ven­ing Sec­tion 89 of the Pe­nal Code Act Num­ber 6 of 2010.

The charge sheet read: “In that upon or about 13 and 14 Oc­to­ber 2012 and at or near the Le­sotho Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice in the dis­trict of Maseru, the said ac­cused, shar­ing a com­mon pur­pose to­gether (with a per­son(s)) and in pur­suit of such a pur­pose, did es­cape from law­ful cus­tody and or was as­sisted to es­cape from law­ful cus­tody, the said ac­cused did con­tra­vene pro­vi­sions of the said code.”

Af­ter the charge was read, Scott said he un­der­stood the in­dict­ment and Ad­vo­cate Mokuku pro­ceeded to ad­vise him of his right to ap­ply for bail and a lawyer.

But in re­sponse, Scott said he was not go­ing to seek bail, with­out stat­ing why.

“Yes, I un­der­stand the charge but I am not go­ing to ap­ply for bail,” Scott re­sponded.

Ad­vo­cate Mokuku then asked the Court to fur­ther re­mand Scott.

“May he be re­manded and in the mean­time, we will be pro­cess­ing an in­dict­ment and pos­si­ble com­mit­tal for trial in the High Court,” Ad­vo­cate Mokuku told the court.

Mag­is­trate Nthunya then re­manded Scott to 18 Novem­ber 2015. His mother, who has since been re­leased on bail, is ex­pected to join him when he ap­pears in the High Court on 23 Novem­ber.

Mean­while, Scott’s lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Thulo Hoeane yes­ter­day, told the Le­sotho Times that he was not aware that his client had ap­peared in court in the morn­ing.

The Le­sotho Times had called Ad­vo­cate Hoeane to find out why his client had re­jected bail.

“I am not aware that he ap­peared in court to­day; in fact, I am ac­tu­ally shocked by what you are telling me be­cause no-one in­formed me about it,” Ad­vo­cate Hoeane said.

The lawyer, how­ever, made equally shock­ing al­le­ga­tions that in­ves­ti­ga­tors want Scott to im­pli­cate some top politi­cians in his es­cape from pri­son.

Ad­vo­cate Hoeane said: “Some­thing in­ter­est­ing that Scott has told me is that the in­ves­ti­ga­tors want him to im­pli­cate some top po­lit­i­cal fig­ures in his es­cape and I have ad­vised him not to say any­thing to them.

“I have the names of the peo­ple he has been told to say helped him es­cape but I can­not dis­close them for se­cu­rity pur­poses.”

Ad­vo­cate Hoeane fur­ther com­plained that the in­ves­ti­ga­tors were fre­quently vis­it­ing Scott and ask­ing him about his pri­son-es­cape.

The lawyer said it was “ir­reg­u­lar” for de­tec­tives to in­ter­view a per­son who has been re­manded by a court of law.

“When he came from South Africa, the po­lice took him straight to court and Jus­tice Moiloa re­manded him in cus­tody. This means he is now an­swer­able to the court,” Ad­vo­cate Hoeane said.

“Th­ese peo­ple should have in­ves­ti­gated his es­cape be­fore bring­ing him to court but they now go to pri­son to ask him how he got away.

“On Fri­day last week, Scott told me that he could not say any­thing to them be­cause he wanted to con­sult me first. I ad­vised him not to say any­thing be­cause he might in­crim­i­nate him­self if he does.

“But this is un­law­ful be­cause the in­ves­ti­ga­tors should not have ac­cess to him be­cause he has been re­manded by a court of law.”

LEHLO­HONOLO Scott

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