An ailing ’Malehlohonolo Scott failed to appear in High Court on Tuesday last week.
Presenting an application seeking her discharge, her lawyer Advocate Thulo Hoeane said ’Malehlohonolo, who was freed on bail, was at home ill and had gone for three check-ups so far.
’Malehlohonolo, who is facing two accounts of murder together with her son Lehlohonolo Scott, remains unable to come to court because of poor health and the two sides agreed to proceed with the trial “because if we wait for her to get well until a day we don’t know we will not finish this case,” according to Hoeane.
’Malehlohonolo, through Advocate Hoeane, has filed papers seeking the High Court to discharge her from the case of two counts of murder on the basis that the crown has not established a prima facie case against her.
Mother and son are accused of killing Moholobela Seetsa and Kamohelo Mohata by mutilating their bodies in January and July 2012.
Following the killing of the two victims, angry villagers besieged the Scotts’ residence, broke doors and windows, before vandalising and torching the property.
Hoeane urged the court to look carefully at the evidence given by the crown witnesses, arguing the evidence given by all 12 prosecution witnesses has not implicated ’Malehlohonolo in the commission of the two counts of murder.
He said without pictorial evidence of ’Malehlohonolo at the three crime scenes – at ’Malehlohonolo’s home, at the Koalabata donga and at Cenez High School toilet, where body parts of the two deceased persons were found – such evidence was mere speculation.
The court works on hard evidence not speculation, Hoeane argued.
He further showed that the son of the accused, Lehlohonolo, took a stand in the witness box to indicate that he was the owner of the house in which human body parts were found while his mother was just a resident in that house.
Hoeane said being a mere residence alone cannot implicate one in commission of a crime just as the accused has another son Khotso who is not implicated in this case.
’Malehlohonolo, Hoeane added, featured only by the time she was arrested by the police at her workplace while before then she had never been called upon to assist in investigations.
“Merely being a resident in that house does not connect her with the crime as nobody suggested,” he said adding that no court can expect somebody to stand in the witness box to answer speculations.
Advocate Gareth Leppan said evidence given in court showed that ’Malehlohonolo was the owner of the house and Scott is the son.
He said blood stains in their toilet, all examined and found to be of human, was evidence enough for ’Malehlohonolo to be found guilty.
Justice Teboho Moiloa reminded the defence and crown’s lawyers that at one point when ’Malehlohonolo was shown a knife in court she remarked she had been looking for that particular knife for a long time.
He said that knife was a kitchen knife which could have been used in the murders.
“It could indicate innocence of ’Malehlohonolo or it could mean association with the knife,” the judge said.
However, Moiloa addressing Scott, who was attending his mother’s application for discharge case heavily guarded by armed military and prison personnel, said there was a lot of evidence the judge needed to look at concerning his mother’s application of discharge.
He therefore postponed the case to May 7 when he will determine whether to discharge ’Malehlohonolo or not.