2 farm workers found guilty of murdering Coligny teen

Two farm workers accused of killing a 15-year-old Coligny teen were found guilt of murder in the North West High Court in Mahikeng on Wednesday.

Judge Ronnie Hendricks found Pieter Doorewaard, 27, and Philip Schutte, 34, guilty of murder, kidnapping, intimidation, theft, and pointing a firearm.

Matlhomola Moshoeu died on April 20, 2017, after falling from a moving vehicle.

Doorewaard and Schutte claimed that Moshoeu had jumped from the van while they were driving to a police station, after they had caught him stealing a sunflower.

While handing down judgment, Hendricks said that, after all the contradictions, probabilities and improbabilities were taken into account, he had relied on the version of the lone witness, Bonakele Pakisi.

The defence had argued that Pakisi's testimony was not credible because of contradictions in his statements.

"I am satisfied that the evidence of Mr Pakisi is honest, truthful and reliable," Hendricks said.

Hendricks said there was no practical reason why Pakisi would have invented the evidence given, as he remembered "each and every scene" and was able to describe what had happened at the various scenes.

Story of accused 'makes no sense'

He said Pakisi would have been very inventive if he had made up all the evidence he presented to the court during his testimony.

"There is one thing that needs special mention... That Mr Pakisi gave evidence on difference scenes," he said.

Hendricks also said that the evidence also noted that there was a possible motive to punish Mosheou. 

There was no reason why the boy would have jumped from the bakkie, as the accused claimed, Hendricks said.

"It is difficult to believe the assumption that the deceased jumped from the van," Hendricks said.

Hendricks further said that the accused had told the court that the deceased had been sitting at the back of the bakkie on the day, at the rear window.

"It makes no sense. Why he would all of a sudden, and for no reason, after being so cooperative, jump," he said. 

Protests, racial tension

Hendricks said the State had proved its case to the court.

"I am of the view that their [the accused's] versions are not reasonably possibly true and are rejected," Hendricks said.

He said the rejection of the accused's versions was backed by the reports by pathologists, who had said that there was no way that Mosheou could have jumped.

News24 previously reported that Pakisi had told the court that he had seen the accused pushing Moshoeu from a moving vehicle.

He said he witnessed the teenager crying and pleading for help during the ordeal.

Pakisi also claimed that the accused had driven Moshoeu around while he was severely injured.

Moshoeu’s death sparked protests in the area, with residents claiming he was killed because he was black. The protests led to multiple houses and businesses being burnt down.

Doorewaard and Schutte are out on R5 000 bail each. Sentencing is scheduled for October 18.

 
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