Scott-Crossley complains of unfair treatment
The media have concentrated on his bad deeds but ignored his good actions, convicted murderer Mark Scott-Crossley told the Phalaborwa Circuit Court on Thursday.
Reporters at the court have seen a man “who now and again reacted irresponsibly”, he said in evidence in mitigation of sentence for the murder of farmworker Nelson Chisale.
“Where were they when I protected the dignity of a black policeman in Nelspruit police cells?
“An incident where an inmate told a black policeman, ‘Hey kaffir, ek wil bel [Hey kaffir I want to phone].’”
When Scott-Crossley had finished with him, the man had to spend two days in hospital. It was the last time the man ever used the word “kaffir”, Scott-Crossley said.
“Another incident the press were aware of, but ignored.
A little girl hanging herself in Nelspruit police station.
That’s all the press had to say,” complained Scott-Crossley.
“The press did not explain that Mark, this evil bastard, gave this little girl CPR [cardio-pulmonary resuscitation] for half-an-hour trying to save [her] life. No rubber gloves. No mouth covering, just trying to save her life.”
Former deputy president Jacob Zuma has condemned those who find people guilty before a judge does so.
“If only the press had listened to that,” Scott-Crossley continued.
After 20 months on trial, the state has not been able to “bring one human being up here to say I’m a bastard. Not one person has come up here to say I’m a racist.”
Even his co-accused, Simon Mathebula, testified that he had not seen Scott-Crossley raise a hand to anyone.
“This animal [Scott-Crossley] fires two people in five years and the words he uses are ‘Go away’. I think if you want to look at what a real bastard animal does when he fires people, you’ll realise you got me all wrong,” he testified.
He “forgot” everything else he intended telling the court in mitigation.
“I wasn’t going to look at my notes,” Scott-Crossley explained.
Judge George Maluleke, hearing the case with assessors Kate Choshi and Elphus Seemela, convicted Scott-Crossley in April of masterminding the premeditated murder of Chisale, who was beaten and then thrown to lions at the Mokwalo White Lion Project in Hoedspruit in January last year.
Co-accused Simon Mathebula had acted in concert with him in committing the murder, the court found. Scott-Crossley and Mathebula both pleaded not guilty when their trial started at the end of January.
A third accused, Richard “Doctor” Mathebula (41)—no relation to his co-accused—also pleaded not guilty. His case was separated from theirs after he was hospitalised with tuberculosis.
The court on Thursday postponed his trial to November 29 to December 2 in the Tzaneen Circuit Court. He will remain in custody.
Asked by prosecutor Ivy Thenga whether he had committed his good deeds—just two weeks before sentencing—with a view to making himself look good, Scott-Crossley retorted that he had not asked the young girl to hang herself.
“The bottom line [is] that I tried to save this little girl. What racist bastard tries to save a little girl?”
It emerged in testimony on Thursday that Scott-Crossley suffers from temporal lobe epilepsy sustained when his head was beaten in a bar-room brawl, allegedly with Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging members who called him a “kaffirboetie” on finding him entertaining a black colleague.
Afterwards, his mother had been unable to recognise him in hospital His head had swollen to twice its normal size, the court was told by forensic criminologist Dr Irma Labuschagne, testifying in mitigation of sentence.
Labuschagne stressed that while the condition would not have caused him to kill someone, it could have been behind his outbursts in court.
Seizures could have been triggered by the camera flashes to which he was constantly subjected at court appearances, she said.—Sapa