Scott breaks down in court

…As cop de­scribes hor­rific crime scene

Lesotho Times - - News - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

They are sit­ting to­gether and oc­ca­sion­ally whis­per­ing to each other as Tues­day’s ses­sion gets un­der­way in the High Court.

Dou­ble mur­der sus­pects Lehlo­honolo Scott and his mother, ‘Malehlo­honolo, are an arm’s length from the fam­i­lies whose two chil­dren they al­legedly butchered four years ago in a crime that shook the na­tion due to its sav­agery.

The body parts of Mo­holo­bela Seetsa (13) and Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata (22) were found in three lo­ca­tions in Koal­a­bata where both the ac­cused and vic­tims lived, lead­ing to spec­u­la­tion they had been killed for rit­ual pur­poses. The Scotts were ar­rested on 12 July 2012 for the al­leged killings. Seetsa was last seen alive on 11 Jan­uary 2012, while Mo­hata is said to have dis­ap­peared in early July 2012.

How­ever, Scott’s es­cape from Maseru Cen­tral Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tute on 14 Oc­to­ber 2012 only added to the fam­ily’s mys­tique and macabre the­o­ries Ba­sotho had for­mu­lated since their ar­rest.

And when Scott was nabbed in Dur­ban, South Africa, as he emerged from a church ser­vice on 6 April 2014, many Ba­sotho dis­missed the news as yet an­other false­hood — only to be­lieve it when he was ex­tra­dited on 21 Oc­to­ber 2015. His mother, ‘Malehlo­honolo, had been re­leased on M500 bail in Au­gust 2013.

Scott ap­peared be­fore the High Court the same day he was ex­tra­dited amid protests he was not a Le­sotho ci­ti­zen but a South African, with Jus­tice Te­boho Moiloa re­mand­ing him in cus­tody un­til 23 Novem­ber 2015. The judge on 23 Novem­ber 2015 an­nounced the case would pro­ceed from 11 to 15 April and 18 to 27 April 2016.

On Mon­day this week, mother and son were in the High Court as the trial re­sumed amid a packed gallery. They pleaded not guilty to charges of mur­der.

And on Tues­day, as Lance Sergeant Liau Seeko sub­mit­ted pho­to­graphs he took at the crime scene as ev­i­dence, Scott and his mother could be seen mut­ter­ing to each other.

That was be­fore the of­fi­cer be­gan giv­ing graphic de­tails of each pic­ture he had taken of Mo­hata’s body parts.

At this point, Scott went very still as he lis­tened to the pro­ceed­ings, cov­ered his face with both hands as he broke down and started to weep. Scott tried to put his head un­der the court desk while wip­ing his tears and nose with a white, pink and grey towel. But Jus­tice Moiloa in­structed him to re­main still as Lance Sergeant Seeko con­tin­ued his grim nar­ra­tive which drew oc­ca­sional gasps from the teem­ing court­room.

“Lehlo­honolo pha­hama re tsebe ho u bona (loosely trans­lated as Lehlo­honolo, sit up­right so that we can see you),” Jus­tice Moiloa said.

Lance Sergeant Seeko told the court that Mo­hata’s torso was re­cov­ered from a donga ap­prox­i­mately 3-5 kilo­me­ters from the Scotts res­i­dence.

“Pho­to­graph 16 was taken on 12 July 2012 and de­picts a place where Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata’s torso was dis­cov­ered. The torso was in a hole in the donga and we dis­cov­ered it af­ter some dig­ging,” said Lance Sergeant Seeko.

“Pho­to­graph 20 shows some body parts but I can­not re­mem­ber quite well ex­actly what they were be­cause my cam­era’s bat­tery was no longer func­tional. I took the body parts to Le­sotho Fu­neral Ser­vice mor­tu­ary.”

The of­fi­cer fur­ther told the court that the fol­low­ing day, the po­lice re­trieved some of Mo­hata’s body parts from a toi­let pit at Koal­a­bata Pri­mary School.

Th­ese parts in­cluded legs, lungs and in­testines wrapped in yel­low and black plas­tic bags, Lance Sergeant Seeko added.

He fur­ther said part of Mo­hata’s liver had been cut and was miss­ing.

“At the back of the same toi­let, I dis­cov­ered some lungs whose owner I didn’t know. Pho­to­graph 27, taken from the same toi­let, de­picts a heart which was cut to­wards the edge. Pho­to­graph 28 de­picts part of a throat which was also cut,” he told the stunned court­room.

“Both pho­to­graph 33 and 34 de­pict some­one’s head cut from the

neck and it was also iden­ti­fied as Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata’s. The head was dis­cov­ered in Koal­a­bata Pri­mary School’s toi­let pit.”

As the court went for lunch break, one of the many peo­ple who had come to wit­ness the trial and sup­port the be­reaved fam­i­lies told the Le­sotho Times that Scott was cry­ing “croc­o­dile tears”.

“Did you see him cry­ing when the of­fi­cer was de­scrib­ing Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata’s chopped body? I think he just wanted us to sym­pa­thise with him. He is not re­morse­ful be­cause just min­utes be­fore that he was smil­ing with his mother,” the an­gry woman said.

“He wants us to be­lieve that he now feels the pain yet he never had any mercy when he chopped th­ese in­no­cent peo­ple’s heads. Why should we feel sym­pa­thy for him when he didn’t feel any for th­ese vic­tims?”

Mean­while, mem­bers of the be­reaved fam­i­lies who tes­ti­fied in court on Mon­day, re­fused to talk to the Le­sotho Times say­ing they could only do so to­mor­row.

“Please al­low us to talk to you on Fri­day be­cause hear­ing how our chil­dren were killed is tear­ing us apart,” said one fam­ily mem­ber who re­quested anonymity.

Trial con­tin­ues.

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