Scott-Crossley on assault rap

Riot Hlatshwayo

Mark Scott-Crossley, a former farmer now serving a life sentence, briefly appeared in the Barberton magistrates' court in Mpumalanga yesterday.

He was charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm following a severe assault on a fellow inmate at the Barberton Maximum Security Prison last December.

Scott-Crossley was sentenced to life for throwing a former employee Nelson Chisale into a lion enclosure in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, in January 2004.

He was not asked to plead and the matter was postponed until June 26 for further investigation.

The assault allegedly happened during an argument over a sodomy incident at the prison. Details are sketchy and police have since refused to divulge the exact cause.

"The matter is of a sensitive nature and is still under investigation," said Barberton police spokesman Constable Jabu Ndubane.

The victim who is also serving time in the prison was at some stage admitted to a hospital in Pretoria after his condition deteriorated while in the prison's hospital.

Scott-Crossley became famous during his court appearances in Phalaborwa. Judge George Maluleke convicted Scott-Crossley and sentenced him to life imprisonment while his accomplice Simon Mathebula got 15 years.

Scott-Crossley has appealed the conviction.

Chisale had been sacked in 2004 by Scott-Crossley. He was thrown into a lion den when he returned to the farm to retrieve his pots and pans. With the help of Mathebula and two other employees, Scott-Crossley threw Chisale into an enclosure that held five lions.