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Durban - The Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday denied bail to a Lesotho man accused of chopping up two people and boiling the heart of one of them, after being told he was an “extreme flight risk”.
Lehlohonolo Joseph Scott, 26, charged with two counts of murder and one of escaping from custody in Lesotho, is expected back in court on June 19 for an inquiry into his extradition.
Magistrate Vanitha Armu said it was clear from the extradition papers that there was an extremely strong case against Scott in relation to two counts of murder.
“The court is satisfied that there is a prima facie case in the two counts of murder against (Scott) in Lesotho. The court is of the opinion that it is not in the interest of justice to grant (him) bail,” she said.
Armu said if she granted bail there was no guarantee that he would attend his extradition hearing, especially after he had managed to escape from lawful custody in Lesotho.
“If he is released on bail it will undermine and jeopardise the proper function of bail within the judiciary system.”
During the bail application it emerged that none of Scott’s travel documents had a border post stamp, indicating that he had not entered South Africa legitimately.
Prosecutor, Blackie Swart, said Scott had come to South Africa knowing that he was a fugitive from justice.
Scott told the court earlier this month that he had returned to South Africa in January 2012 and applied for his South African ID in Carletonville, Gauteng, but only moved here in October of that year.
However, Swart said on Tuesday that the last entry from the border post in Scott’s passport was in June 2012 when he had entered and left South Africa.
“He went back to Lesotho thereafter; there are no further stamps from the border post in his passport, which means he came into the country illegally,” said Swart, adding that he was arrested in July 2012.
Swart said Scott should not be granted bail as he was an “extreme flight risk” and he was well aware that if found guilty he would be handed the death penalty in Lesotho.
Scott, also wanted by Interpol, was charged with his mother after villagers found the body parts of Moholobela Seetsa, who went missing in January 2012, buried in a ditch.
Police investigations continued without any leads until July that year when Kamohelo Mohata went missing from the same village.
Police were later tipped off about the Scotts’ alleged involvement.
When they visited Scott’s mother’s house, they allegedly found two arms and a leg in the back of a Corsa bakkie and testicles behind the seat.
Scott allegedly pointed out a knife used to stab Mohata, a wire used to strangle Moholobela, and a pot in which Moholobela’s heart was apparently boiled.
It also emerged in court that Lesotho law officials had written a letter stating that if he was extradited and found guilty of the murders he would be sentenced to death unless the court found exceptional circumstances not to.