Bail extension denied for Coligny farm murderers

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

The North West high court has declined to hear  the application by two farm workers convicted for killing a teenager in Coligny to be released on bail.

Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte had approached the court in November 23 asking for their bail to be extended.This after the pair was convicted in October 17 2018 for the murder of Matlhomola Mosweu, who was killed in April 2017 after been accused of stealing sunflower heads in Rietvlei farm in Coligny, North West.

Handing down the judgment on Thursday, acting judge Daniel Matlapeng said the court cannot disregard and close its eyes to the pronouncement made by the trial court. "It simply does not have the jurisdiction or power to do that,” he said.

He said in his view, the trial retained a discretion whether to extend bail or not pending sentencing. “By ordering that the accused  be kept in custody after a verdict of guilty, the court clearly made a pronouncement which in my mind is a court order,” he said.

Matlapeng said such an order will stand unless challenged on appeal.  Doorewaard and Schutte’s attorneys  relied on section 60 (1)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Act which says the accused who is in custody in respect of an offence shall be entitled to be released on bail at any stage preceding his or her conviction in respect of such offence.

The state argued that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

State Advocate Dan Moeketsi argued that the trial court made a determination when it revoked the bail of the accused and that the decision stands unless taken to appeal.

The court cannot review the decision of the trial court and proceed to hear the bail application, he said.

The matter was postponed to January 28 for sentencing.

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