MASERU — A lawyer representing ’Malehlohono Scott says he will soon apply for an order at the High Court directing the Lesotho Correctional Service to unshackle his jailed client. Advocate Thulo Hoeane is representing Scott who is facing two murder charges together with her son Lehlohonolo.
Hoeane told High Court judge Justice Thamsanqa Nomngcongo that he was not happy because his client remained shackled in her cells at night.
The judge, who appeared perturbed by the matter, said it was illegal to shackle a prisoner within cells.
The judge said prisoners can only be shackled if they are in transit, adding that it is inhuman to keep the woman shackled in a cell at night. Justice Nomngcongo told the Lesotho Correctional Service officer who had brought the accused to court to tell the authorities that it is illegal to shackle prisoners at night.
The judge told Hoeane that he could file an application at the High Court over the matter. ‘Malehlohonolo’s co-accused, Lehlohonolo, escaped from Maseru Central Prison in controversial circumstances last year.
The two are being charged with the killing Moholobela Seetsa and Kamohelo Mohata. The two are suspected to have been murdered for ritual purposes.
This is not the first time that the judge has expressed outrage over the shackling of prisoners. In 2009, Justice Nomngcongo also expressed revulsion after mercenaries who were accused of staging attacks at Makoanyane military barracks and the State House complained that they were being shackled in prison cells.
Hoeane, who was representing the mercenaries, had complained to the judge over the practice. Justice Nomngcongo then ordered that the “shackling of persons be put to a halt with immediate effect”. The judge said he wondered how prisoners could pose a threat when they are within the prison walls.
Hoeane did not indicate when he will make such an application to the court.
The case was postponed to August 12.