DOUBLE ritual murder suspect, Lehlohonolo Scott, will have to wait until 12 February 2020 to know his fate.
This after High Court judge Teboho Moiloa this week reserved judgement in the long-drawn out trial to that date.
Scott and his mother, ‘Malehlohonolo, are accused of acting together to murder fellow Koalabata residents, Moholobela Seetsa (13) and Kamohelo Mohata (22), in January and June 2012 respectively.
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 and has been in custody awaiting the finalisation of his trials. ‘Malehlohonolo was released on stringent bail conditions in August 2013.
On Tuesday, a relaxed Scott appeared not to have a care in the world and was all smiles as he sat in the dock facing Crown Counsel, Advocate Gareth Leppan, outline the evidence against him and his mother.
Adv Leppan told the court that Scott was the one who led the police to the sites were the body parts of the deceased were found upon his arrest.
“The pointing of evidence on 12, 13 and 14 July 2012 at their house, toilet and donga in Koalabata was done by Scott and his mother is an accomplice because there was no way the incidents could have happened without her knowledge due to all the evidence recovered at the house and in the car at their premises,” Adv Leppan submitted.
“Regarding his escape, it is not true that he was kidnapped from prison after being sedated and only gained consciousness in a hospital in Durban six weeks later. According to the evidence of Mrs (Matšepo) Moholisa (a witness), Scott arrived at their church’s concert at Memorial Hall in Sea Point, Maseru, where he told them that he had miraculously escaped from prison.”
Defence lawyer Advocate Thulo Hoeane challenged the prosecution’s case, however, insisting there was no “proof beyond reasonable doubt” linking Scott and his mother to the crimes.
“Evidence against accused number two (‘Malehlohonolo) is circumstantial in that there is no evidence or witness who links her to the exhibitions which were discovered from the crime scenes. Clearly she did not commit murder as she only came into the picture after death as an accessory.
“It is said that she should have known about the blood in the toilet but how should she have seen something which was inside a pit of that (huge) depth? The blood had no smell and there is nothing which confirms that it was human blood. I submit that she is entitled to acquittal as there is no evidence linking her to the murders.
“As for accused number one (Scott), he is only linked to the crimes by the mere fact of pointing out evidence at the donga. The accused were never asked to point out evidence at the house and were never called to identify anything.
“Accused number one (Scott) should have been photographed pointing out evidence but not even a single photo in the two albums presented to the court featured him. Nobody ever disputed that he had been injected by an unknown substance before doing the pointing out. Therefore he was not in his sober mind while doing so.
“Furthermore, nobody disputes that three masked men kidnapped him from his prison cell on the night of his disappearance from prison. No one can escape such a high security facility; that would be miraculous. That is not an escape because an escape is a conscious act. Criminal trials must have proof beyond reasonable doubt,” argued Adv Hoeane.
Justice Moiloa said the court needed to go through both the state and defence’s submissions and reserved judgement to 12 February 2020.
“The trial has been a long one with volumes of evidence which the court needs to go through. The court will provisionally postpone the matter to 12 February 2020 for judgement,” Justice Moiloa said.