Coligny murder accused to know their fate

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

Two farm workers accused of killing a teenager over sunflower heads in Coligny‚ North West‚ will know their fate on Wednesday.

The verdict against Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte is expected to be delivered by the North West High Court.

The two were accused of killing Matlhomola Mosweu‚ a 16-year-old boy‚ after accusing him of stealing a sunflower head on April 20‚ 2017.

The trial‚ which took over a year‚ saw prosecution and defence lawyers trying to prove their case before the court.

During the last court sitting‚ state advocate Rapule Molefe tried ot convince the court that the evidence of the sole witness on the case was credible enough to send the two accused to jail. Molefe submitted that‚ through the state’s evidence and the evidence before the court‚ they have proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

During the court hearing‚ Molefe explained that there were essentially three facts that were disputed by the defence during trial proceedings. These were:-Whether the deceased jumped off a moving vehicle;-The cause of death; and-Whether the sole witness in the case‚ Bonakele Pakisi‚ was at the scene.

Molefe that 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 had been attacked by the defence.

The lawyers representing the two accused maintained that Doorewaard and Schutte’s version that they never saw Pakisi was true. They also disputed that Mosweu was pushed off the moving bakkie – saying‚ instead‚ that he jumped off while they were driving him to the police station‚ with the intention of reporting him for stealing sunflower heads.

Advocate Hennie du Plessis‚ who represented Doorewaard‚ said all the discrepancies were evaluated on a holistic basis.

The murder of Mosweu caused the small farming town of Coligny to come to a standstill. Shops belonging to white people were set alight as residents were strongly believed that Mosweu’s death was ignited by racial tension that has been going on in town for years.

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