Scott-Crossley a free man

2010-09-30 09:00

Mark Scott-Crossley, one of the men who threw a worker’s body to lions in Hoedspruit in 2004, is a free man.

“His last day of parole was the 29th of September, so he is now a free man,” said correctional services spokesperson, Sarie Peens.

Scott-Crossley’s August 2008 release on parole was met with outrage.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), at the time, charged that those who were “rich and white” received preferential treatment.

His parole conditions included visits by correctional services officials at home and at work.

He was also compelled to report to the correctional services offices and do community work.

In late 2005, Scott-Crossley was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Phalaborwa Circuit Court for assaulting and then throwing former employee Nelson Chisale to the lions.

On September 28 2007, the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein set aside Scott-Crossley’s murder conviction for the death of Chisale.

It substituted five years’ imprisonment on the lesser offence of being an accessory after the fact for his life sentence.

The court found the prosecution had not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Chisale was alive when he was thrown into the enclosure.

The judges found the panga wounds inflicted on Chisale by Scott-Crossley’s co-accused, Doctor Mathebula and Simon Mathebula, when he was not present, could reasonably have caused the deceased’s death before he was transported to the lion park.

Simon Mathebula was given 15 years, three years of which were suspended, and Richard Mathebula reportedly died of tuberculosis.

Peens was unable to immediately confirm whether Mathebula remained incarcerated.

The court then ruled that Scott-Crossley would serve the remainder of his sentence for the lesser offence backdated to September 30 2005.

The case made headlines across the world when the murder occurred in January 2004.

Chisale’s skull and some gnawed bones were all that remained after the body was thrown to three white lions at the Mokwalo lion breeding project.

Scott-Crossley had fired Chisale from his construction business at the Engedi game farm. Chisale had been helping to build a lodge on the farm when he was fired.

He was killed when he returned to collect some of his belongings.

While incarcerated, Scott-Crossley was also charged with assaulting a fellow inmate, Jacobus Cordier, 40, at the Barberton maximum security prison on December 9 2006.

The Barberton Magistrates Court found him guilty of assault and sentenced him to a fine of R4 000 or two years imprisonment on February 21 this year. He paid the fine.

Scott-Crossley pleaded not guilty to the assault, saying he acted in self-defence when Cordier threatened him with a sharpened spoon.

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