Credibility of Coligny murder case witness put to test

Coligny murder accused Pieter Dooreward and Phillip Schutte.
Coligny murder accused Pieter Dooreward and Phillip Schutte.
Image: Tiro Ramatlhatse

The credibility of the sole witness in the case of Matlhomola Mosweu, the 16-year-old teenager who was allegedly killed by two farm workers in Coligny, North West, over a year ago, was thrown into the spotlight in the North West high court on Tuesday.

Prosecutor  advocate Rapula Molefe submitted that through the state’s  evidence and  evidence before court,  they have proved  the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Molefe was submitting his heads of arguments in the murder trial against Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, who stand accused of killing Mosweu on April 20 last year after accusing him of stealing sunflower heads.

Molefe explained that there were essentially three facts that were disputed by the defence during previous trial proceedings. The facts were whether the deceased jumped off a moving vehicle, the cause of death and whether the sole witness on the case, Bonakele Pakisi, was at the crime scene.

Molefe said in terms of credibility, the state relied significantly on the evidence of Pakisi  and that it was  therefore  not surprising that Pakisi’s evidence has been attacked by the defence.

The two accused maintained their version that they never saw Pakisi on the day of the incident. They also disputed that Mosweu was pushed off a moving bakkie but that he instead jumped off while they were taking him to the police station, with the intention of reporting him for stealing the sunflower heads.

Advocate Hennie du Plessis, who represented Doorewaard, said all the discrepancies were evaluated on holistic bases. He said there was no  corroboration of evidence for any of the allegations that Pakisi put to the court.

“If this honourable court looks at  …  evidence before court, I respectfully  submit that it does not support Pakisi’s version, and in actual fact it is more consistent with the version of the accused,” he said.

The case was postponed to October 17 for judgment and sentencing.

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