2 men found guilty of Coligny teen's murder to be sentenced

2019-03-06 07:01
Farm workers Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte are seen in the North West High Court during the verdict on the murder Matlhomola Mosweu. (Tiro Ramatlhatse, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Farm workers Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte are seen in the North West High Court during the verdict on the murder Matlhomola Mosweu. (Tiro Ramatlhatse, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

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The two men convicted of killing Coligny teen Matlhomola Moshoeu will learn their fate on Wednesday when their sentences are handed down in the North West High Court.

Judge Ronnie Hendricks will have to consider submissions made by the State and defence during the sentencing proceedings of Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte in January.  

Doorewaard and Schutte were found guilty of murder, kidnapping, intimidation, theft and pointing a firearm in November 2018.

State advocate Rapula Molefe had argued in aggravation of sentencing that Doorewaard and Schutte "lied" when they said Moshoeu jumped from their bakkie while they were taking him to a police station because he had stolen sunflower heads.

"The killing of the deceased was brutal, savage, horrible and barbaric. The killing stands against our state of humanity and constitutional way of thinking," Molefe argued at the time.

"The failure by the accused to accept responsibility for their conduct clearly shows their lack of insight into the serious nature of the crimes they committed," he said.

'Is life so cheap in the country?'

Sixteen-year-old Moshoeu died on April 20, 2017, after he was thrown from a moving vehicle. But the men claimed that they caught him stealing sunflower heads at a farm and were on their way to the police station with him when he jumped from the moving vehicle.

"The accused involved themselves in a 'cover-up' by placing the deceased's body where it was found," Molefe said, adding that the conduct of the accused led to "public violence, looting and a state of lawlessness" in Coligny.

"Is life so cheap in the country? Is it acceptable for a helpless child to die for an R80 sunflower? Is the taking of the law into one's own hands tolerated in this country?" Molefe asked during his argument.

Meanwhile, arguing in mitigation of sentence, Doorewaard's advocate, Cecile Zwiegelaar, said her client accepted that Moshoeu's death was a "tragic incident [and] that he "regrets" his death.

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"I would ask the court to take that into account. [The] sentence must not overemphasise public interest," Zwiegelaar submitted.

Zwiegelaar said what happened to Moshoeu was a shocking and traumatic experience, adding that Doorewaard denied that the murder was racially motivated.

She said Doorewaard still had difficulty coming to terms with what happened and it caused him stress and anxiety.

Advocate Pieter Smit, who represented Schutte, argued that his client still struggled to cope with the fact that Moshoeu had lost his life. 

Read more on:    matlhomola moshoeu  |  mahikeng

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