Crime & CourtsLocalNews

Scotts trial postponed yet again

Nat Molomo

THE trial of Koalabata double ritual murder suspects, Lehlohonolo Scott and his mother ’Malehlohonolo has been postponed to 26 March due to the latter’s illness.

’Malehlohonolo was conspicuous by her absence on Wednesday and this left High Court judge Justice Teboho Moiloa with no choice but to postpone the duo’s trial to 26 March, by which date it is believed that she would have sufficiently recovered from the undisclosed ailment to be able to stand trial.

The postponement came after the prosecutor Advocate Gareth Leppan told the court that he and defence lawyer, Adv Thulo Hoeane, had agreed that ‘Malehlohonolo was unwell.

“We cannot proceed with the case because your mother, the accused number two is indisposed,” Justice Moiloa told Lehlohonolo.

“The court will see you on 26 March 2019 because your mother is indisposed and we cannot proceed.”

Lehlohonolo, himself, appeared in good spirits and he was resplendent in a grey jacket which prompted Justice Moiloa to remark, “Mr Scott you look very smart”.

Lehlohonolo smiled before replying, “thank you my lord”.

Lehlohonolo and his mother ’Malehlohonolo stand accused of murdering fellow Koalabata residents, Moholobela Seetsa (13) and Kamohelo 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.

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

On Wednesday Advocate Gareth Leppan told the court that Adv Hoeane would soon apply for the discharge of ‘Malehlohonolo. He however, did not disclose the reason for the application for the discharge.

Justice Moiloa then directed the prosecution and the defence lawyers to prepare to file their heads of arguments.

“As regards an application for the discharge of ‘Malehlohonolo Scott, I direct that it be lodged as soon as possible and the heads of argument for the defence should be filed on 15 March 2019.

“I direct that the crown should file their heads of argument on 22 March 2019.

“If we stick to this timetable, I would consider giving my ruling on the application for discharge in August,” Justice Moiloa said.

 

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