KOALABATA double ritual murder suspect, Lehlohonolo Scott, yesterday told the High Court how he was allegedly insulted and assaulted by two men he suspected were police officers before they arrested him four years ago.
Lehlohonolo (30) and his mother ’Malehlohonolo (60) are accused of the murder of fellow Koalabata residents Moholobela Seetsa (13) and Mohata (22) in January and June 2012 respectively.
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.
According to Scott, the “enraged” men did not identify themselves to him or say why they used unprintable insults depicting her mother’s private parts while they allegedly manhandled and accused him of being a member of the All Basotho Convention (ABC).
Scott, who testified for the first time about the events of 12 July 2012 before Justice Teboho Moiloa yesterday afternoon, said he had just alighted from a taxi in Koalabata and was on his way to his home when the two men approached him.
He was testifying as the first defence witness after the prosecution concluded its case in the trial within a trial to determine admissibility of two photo albums depicting, among other things, human body parts. The crown has submitted before the court that the parts belong to Seetsa and Mohata.
“One held a big machine gun and the other one held a small gun. They were shouting out my name and instructing me stop,” Scott said.
“I stopped while they kept their guns pointed at me as they continued to advance towards me. The man holding a small gun then said (unprintable insults depicting his mother’s body parts).
“When they finally got arrived at me, one of them said ‘we have finally got you Letoala tooe’. They were suggesting that I am a member of a political party called Toala (ABC). They did not say who they are or say why they were insulting and assaulting me,” Scott said.
Scott said one of the men kicked him from behind resulting in him falling flat on his face between the legs of the other man who stood in front of him.
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He said he was then handcuffed “and one said they were taking me to my place where I should not try to give them any trouble but still I did not know what they were talking about”.
“At some stage I asked what I had done but they were quick to shut me down threatening they would smash my brain if I did not cooperate,” he said.
Scott told the court that in the morning of 12 July 2012, he left home together with ’Malehlohonolo and his younger brother Khotso. He said they left the key to their house with their neighbour ’Marelebohile as they always did because she kept some of her building materials in their house.
Scott said they parted ways when they arrived in town and ’Marelebohile went to her workplace at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology while Khotso took a taxi to their brother’s place in Khubetsoana. He said he went an internet shop at Pioneer Mall.
He said later, at around 10:00am, he went to electronic appliances’ shop in town where ’Marelebohile had been sent him to buy her some items.
On his way home, Scott said he was called on his mobile phone by his mother to inform him that the police were looking for him “and that I should rush home.”
He said while he was in taxi going home he called back his mother but her phone went unanswered.
“But when it was finally answered, instead of hearing my mother answering, I overheard a quarrel between my mother and some male voices I did not recognise. My mother was saying “give it to me, I need to talk to him. But a male voice responded “back off,” he said, adding that it was after alighting the taxi that he met with the two men he alleged insulted and assaulted him.
Led by his lawyer Advocate Thulo Hoeane, Scott continues with his testimony before Justice Moiloa today.
In addition to murder, Lehlohonolo 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, Lehlohonolo was arrested in Durban on 6 April 2014 and lost his fight against extradition in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on 5 May last year. He was extradited to Lesotho on 21 October 2015, where he awaits finalisation of his trials in custody.
For her part, ’Malehlohonolo was released on stringent bail conditions in August 2013.