Coligny murder trial: Cop told me that evidence had disappeared, says witness

2018-06-06 22:08
The key witness in the Coligny murder trial Bonakele Pakisi. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

The key witness in the Coligny murder trial Bonakele Pakisi. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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A police officer may have been grossly negligent in the case of Coligny teenager who was allegedly murdered in April 2017. 

Bonakele Pakisi, who is the key witness in the murder trial, painted a picture of negligence and an inconsistent police officer, who he referred to as "Seponkane" during his testimony. 

Pakisi testified in the North West High Court that Seponkane had failed to gather crucial evidence after he showed him where 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu had been thrown from a moving vehicle. He, instead, allegedly told him that the evidence he had pointed out had "disappeared".

Pakisi was testifying in the trial of Pieter Doorewaard 27, and Philip Schutte, 34, who are accused of killing Moshoeu in Coligny last year. The pair claim they caught Moshoeu stealing a sunflower on April 20, 2017.

Doorewaard and Schutte said they had intended to drive Moshoeu to the local police station, but that he jumped off their bakkie along the way and broke his neck.

During his evidence-in-chief, Pakisi told the court that the officer had requested him to point out the scene. When they arrived at the scene, they had found blood on the ground, he said.

"He [the officer] told me he was going to call the forensic people and that I should go home," Pakisi said.

'The police told me that I was crazy'

He said, a day later, he met with the officer who told him that "he forgot to call the people from forensics and that the evidence has disappeared".

Pakisi also told the court that, when he gave his statement to Seponkane, he apparently made him sign a blank document. Pakisi alleged that there was a statement next to the document which was never read to him. 

"I gave him my statement in detail, but when I was at the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority], my statement was wrong," he said.

Earlier, Pakisi told the court how he had witnessed 16-year-old Moshoeu being thrown from a moving vehicle on April 20, 2017. He broke down and lost his composure as he relived the incident.

READ: Witness breaks down during testimony in Coligny murder trial

Judge Ronnie Hendricks was forced to adjourn the matter for a few minutes to allow the 28-year-old to recover, as he battled to speak.

Pakisi also claimed that he had heard Moshoeu crying and screaming: "Mama help, I am dying."

He said, following the incident, he had gone to the police to report the matter, but "the police told me that I was crazy".

A senior police official previously told the High Court that he was "embarrassed" about the handling of the Coligny murder case.

'Suspects involved are known, but not arrested'

"I was embarrassed, because members of the community said police are not doing their work," provincial Organised Crime head Brigadier Clifford Kgorane said at the time.

"I could hear from the community leaders that the suspects involved are known, but not arrested," he added.

Kgorane told the court that the investigating officer had told him that he could not change the investigation to a murder, because "the witness was mentally ill".

Moshoeu's death sparked protests in the area, as some residents believed he had been killed because he was black.

Several houses and businesses were burnt to the ground.

The accused have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, intimidation, kidnapping, theft, the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and pointing a firearm.

Doorewaard and Schutte are each out on bail of R5 000.

The trial continues on Thursday. 

WATCH: A News24 Documentary | Stealing Sunflowers

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