Scott case postponed again

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Double ritual murder suspect Lehlohonolo Scott was extradited from South Africa midmorning yesterday amid tight security

Tefo Tefo

HIGH Court judge, Justice Teboho Moiloa on Tuesday postponed the double ritual murder trial of Koalabata resident, Lehlohonolo Scott and his mother ‘Malehlohonolo Scott to 28 March 2017, citing the latter’s ill-health.

The duo face charges of murder for allegedly killing two Koalabata boys five years ago.

Justice Moiloa postponed the case to next Tuesday saying ‘Malehlohonolo, who appeared ill, should go for medical examination to ascertain her state of health.

Justice Moiloa had asked ‘Malehlohonolo in an open court whether she was well and the latter could only point to her chest to suggest she was ill.

“I can see that you have even lost weight,” Justice Moiloa said before addressing the lawyers on the need to postpone the case.

“I think we should meet next week to see if there is any improvement.

“I postpone this case to Tuesday the 28th of March,” the judge said before telling ‘Malehlohonolo to “go and see the doctor so that I can determine if there is any improvement”.

‘Malehlohonolo who appeared unable to stand on her own was supported by her co-accused son, Lehlohonolo, to the extent that the judge ordered her to sit down as he spoke to her.

Her relatives helped her into a vehicle after the adjournment of court proceedings.

Her illness prevented her lawyer Advocate Thulo Hoeane from raising Lehlohonolo’s allegations of ill-treatment at the Maseru Central Prison where he has been on hunger strike since Monday last week.

Advocate Hoeane told the Lesotho Times that Lehlohonolo was on hunger strike to protest his solitary confinement which prevented him from mingling with other inmates.

“He is locked up in the cells in the new block, but is unable to meet with other inmates even in that block,” his lawyer said, adding, “He is also complaining that he does not have access to reading materials that include newspapers”.

Adv Hoeane said: “Now that his mother is not well we are not able to raise his concerns with the judge because they should be raised as part of the proceedings.”

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.

Lehlohonolo has previously complained of unfair treatment, claiming in his December 2016 court testimony that prior to his arrest, the police used unprintable insults depicting his mother’s private parts while they allegedly manhandled and accused him of being a member of the opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC) political party.

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 remains in custody.

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

 

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