Scott makes shock claims

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Tefo Tefo

DOU­BLE rit­ual mur­der sus­pect, Lehlo­honolo Scott, has sen­sa­tion­ally claimed that some po­lice of­fi­cers forced him to im­pli­cate Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane and a late lo­cal busi­ness­man in the 2012 killing of two Koal­a­bata res­i­dents.

Scott (30) was tes­ti­fy­ing in a marathon trial in which he and his mother ’ Ma Lehlo­honolo (60) are ac­cused of mur­der­ing fel­low Koal­a­bata res­i­dents, Mo­holo­bela Seetsa (13) and Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata (22) in Jan­uary and June 2012 re­spec­tively.

In his con­tin­u­ing nar­ra­tion of the events that took place at Mabote Po­lice Sta­tion, where he was de­tained in July 2012, Scott told the High Court that the po­lice forced him to im­pli­cate Dr Tha­bane and the late busi­ness­man Thabiso Tšosane in the killing of his two neigh­bours. Mr Tšosane was shot dead in May 2015 by an un­known as­sailant as he fer­ried his work­ers home.

He said the po­lice told him to make a “con­fes­sion” be­fore the mag­is­trate that the hu­man body parts found in a ve­hi­cle parked at his home were go­ing to be used as muti (rit­ual medicine) to “strengthen” Dr Tha­bane in his po­si­tion as pre­mier.

Dr Tha­bane served as pre­mier from 2012 un­til the Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions ush­ered in a seven-party coali­tion gov­ern­ment headed by Demo­cratic Congress leader, Pakalitha Mo­sisili.

How­ever, Dr Tha­bane bounced back as prime min­is­ter af­ter the 3 June 2017 snap polls brought in the four party coali­tion con­sist­ing of his ABC, the Al­liance of Democrats, the Ba­sotho Na­tional Party and the Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho.

And this week, Scott said a po­lice of­fi­cer only iden­ti­fied as In­spec­tor Khatleli gave him the in­struc­tions to im­pli­cate Dr Tha­bane. He said the in­struc­tions were given as the po­lice were as­sault­ing him.

“Khatleli or­dered me to ex­plain in full to the mag­is­trate that we killed the de­ceased per­sons,” Scott told the court.

“He (In­spec­tor Khatleli) said he knew very well that the ve­hi­cle in which they found the body parts be­longed to one Thabiso Tšosane and that they were go­ing to be used as muti to strengthen Dr Tha­bane.

“I cat­e­gor­i­cally re­fused that I would say such things be­fore the court and Khatleli stood up from where he was sit­ting, grabbed me on the shoul­ders, shook me up and told me to abide by what they were telling me.

“Af­ter that, he asked if I heard what they told me and I an­swered in the af­fir­ma­tive.”

Scott said af­ter a short while he asked the po­lice how he should nar­rate the story to the court.

“Khatleli told me that I am a grown man and I should find a way to put it be­fore the mag­is­trate,” he said, adding the po­lice of­fi­cers then gave him two note books in which there were recipes for mak­ing rit­ual medicines, “one recipe for heal­ing headaches and another one for the gen­er­a­tion of light­ning”.

Scott said In­spec­tor Khatleli or­dered him to tell the po­lice about his bank ac­counts as they claimed that Dr Tha­bane had de­posited more than M22 mil­lion in his ABSA bank ac­count.

“I told them that I had two bank ac­counts with Stan­dard Le­sotho Bank and one with Ned­bank.

“Khatleli said I should also men­tion a bank ac­count that I hold with ABSA bank in Lady­brand, South Africa in which Tha­bane had de­posited M22.4 mil­lion.

“I told him I knew noth­ing about that bank ac­count and the money he was re­fer­ring to,” he said.

He said the po­lice warned him against telling the mag­is­trate about their as­saults on him in­clud­ing an in­jec­tion they per­formed on him.

I cat­e­gor­i­cally re­fused that I would say such things be­fore the court and Khatleli stood up from where he was sit­ting, grabbed me on the shoul­ders, shook me up and told me to abide by what they were telling me

He fur­ther said he was taken into the po­lice cells where he slept the en­tire night.

“I only no­ticed my­self in one of­fice where I could see a gentleman be­hind a desk. That gentleman was wear­ing a red jersey.”

The “gentleman” was in fact a mag­is­trate at the Mag­is­trate Court in Maseru.

He said he re­mem­ber nar­rat­ing what had hap­pened with him at the po­lice sta­tion where he was de­tained.

“I don’t re­call telling that gentleman other things,” he added.

He said af­ter his in­ter­view with the ‘gentleman,’ the Mag­is­trate gave a doc­u­ment to the po­lice of­fi­cers who took him to a po­lice ve­hi­cle. He was taken back to Mabote Po­lice Sta­tion.

The case pro­ceeds. It is pros­e­cuted by Ad­vo­cate Gar­reth Lep­pan, as­sisted by Ad­vo­cate Thapelo Mokuku, while the Scotts are rep­re­sented by Ad­vo­cate Thulo Hoeane.

The Scotts were ar­rested on 12 July 2012 fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of Seetsa and Mo­hata’s mu­ti­lated bod­ies in Koal­a­bata. The mu­ti­la­tion of the bod­ies led to spec­u­la­tion the two had been killed for rit­ual pur­poses.

In ad­di­tion to mur­der, Scott also faces the charge of un­law­ful es­cape from Maseru Cen­tral Prison on 14 Oc­to­ber, 2012 while await­ing trial.

Af­ter al­most two years on the run, Scott was ar­rested in Dur­ban, South Africa on 6 April 2014 and lost his fight against ex­tra­di­tion in the Veru­lam Mag­is­trate’s Court on 5 May, 2015.

He was ex­tra­dited to Le­sotho on 21 Oc­to­ber 2015, where he awaits fi­nal­i­sa­tion of his tri­als in cus­tody.

For her part, ’Mas­cott was re­leased on strin­gent bail con­di­tions in Au­gust 2013.

Lehlo­honolo Scott.

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