Petition to release Coligny murder suspects gets more than a 100 signatures

2017-05-02 16:02
People protest outside the Coligny Magistrate's Court. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

People protest outside the Coligny Magistrate's Court. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Coligny - A petition to help the two men arrested for the murder, which allegedly led to violent protests in the North West farming town, Coligny, has been set up for the pair's release, the Coligny Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday.

Pieter Karsten, a family member of one of the men arrested, told the court that they handed the petition to the defence.

He said so far the petition had more than 100 signatures but no black person had signed it.

He said the community should be willing to listen to reason and wait for the trial.

Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Philip Schutte, 33, appeared in court for an urgent bail application on Tuesday.

The court gallery was packed to capacity with journalists and members of the public.

The father of 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu's sat in the first row during court proceedings.

Karsten told the court that when his nephew and the other man were arrested, "everything had come to a standstill".  

He said his nephew and his co-accused are his employees.

He added that his nephew was "soft spoken and works well with everybody who crosses his path".

Karsten had also claimed that the protest was initially fuelled by a lack of service delivery in Lichtenburg two weeks ago and then escalated to Coligny.

"It was not just about the child. The child was unknown until recently," he said.

Some people in the public gallery laughed with some saying "you are lying".

But Karsten said: "If the police did their work from day one, this would never have happened."

Karsten previously told News24 that he had advised his nephew and another man to hand themselves over to police.

He also added that the boy died after allegedly being caught stealing sunflowers and had broken his neck jumping off a moving bakkie.

Residents claimed the death was racially motivated.

The bail application continues.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  crime

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