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Durban - After evading capture for almost two years, a Lesotho national charged with double murder in his country is back behind bars, having been nabbed by police at a church service in Durban.
Journalists from Lesotho were present on Thursday when Lehlohonolo Joseph Scott, 26, applied for bail in the Durban Magistrate’s Court.
Prosecutor Blackie Swart said Scott, who had been sought by Interpol after his escape from a Maseru prison in 2012, had been found by a police tracking team earlier this month.
Swart said while the Lesotho authorities had made an application to have Scott extradited to his country to stand trial for the murders, the matter still had to be set down for an extradition hearing. He said the State was opposed to Scott’s being released on bail while he awaited his hearing, because he was a flight risk.
Scott, who had been renting a property in Chesterville since January this year, had been arrested at a church service in Amaoti, near Inanda.
Scott and his mother, Malehlohonolo Scott, are charged with the 2012 murders of a 13-year-old boy, Moholobela Seetsa, and a 22-year-old student, Kamohelo Mohata.
According to Lesotho journalists the murders have been referred to as ritual killings, but the motives have not been disclosed to Magistrate Vanitha Armu.
In an affidavit, Lesotho’s director of public prosecution, Leaba Thetsane, said Seetsa had gone missing from his home in a village 10km outside Maseru in January 2012.
Days after his disappearance had been reported to police, human body parts had been found and had later been identified as Seetsa’s.
In July, Mohato, who lived in the same village as Seetsa, had been reported missing after he had failed to return to his home. His remains had later been found in Scott’s Corsa bakkie. Thetsane said Scott also took police to other areas where he had dumped other remains from both victims.
Scott’s attorney, Shameer Goolabjith, said his client was a South African citizen and had an identity document issued in this country. But Swart disputed this. He handed in an affidavit by investigating officer Noko Kgomo, who alleged Scott’s South African ID document had been fraudulently obtained in Joburg in 2012.
Kgomo said the identity document had a different surname from the one in his Lesotho passport, and the South African Department of Home Affairs could find no record of Scott’s being registered as a citizen in the country. He also said according to Lesotho legislation, Scott could not have dual citizenship. He said Scott might easily cross the border if given bail.
Goolabjith asked the court for an adjournment to give the family time to find Scott’s birth certificate before proceeding with their application for bail.
The case has been adjourned to next month.