Coligny murder witness confesses to lying about teen thrown from bakkie - report

2019-01-21 11:02
The key witness in the Coligny murder trial Bonakele Pakisi.

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

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VIDEO FEATURE: 'I miss him every day' - Mother of murdered Coligny teen

2018-10-21 08:37

Although the parents of 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu won't ever hear their son's voice again or watch him grow into an adult, the court's decision to find two men guilty of his murder has given them some comfort. Watch.WATCH

The self-proclaimed eyewitness in the Coligny murder trial – who testified that he saw two white men throw 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu from a bakkie in April 2017 – reportedly admitted that he lied to the court, Rapport reported on Sunday.

The newspaper reported that it was in possession of a recording in which Bonakele Pakisi confessed to a preacher and an attorney.

Pieter Doorewaard, 27, and Phillip Schutte, 34, pleaded not guilty to Moshoeu's murder, claiming that the teen jumped from their van while they drove to a police station to report that he had stolen sunflower heads worth R60.

But on January 16, they were found guilty of his murder and kidnapping, as well as charges of intimidation, theft, and pointing a firearm, News24 reported.

Moshoeu's death sparked protests in the area and some residents claimed that he was killed because he was black. Several houses and businesses were burnt to the ground.

Pakisi testified during the trial, while under cross-examination by advocate Pieter Smit: "He was thrown the first time and I was watching... I took the police to the scene and I explained that it appeared that the child was thrown from the vehicle again and again [because] the vehicle would move and then stop."

READ: 'I am not making up a story' - Coligny murder trial witness

Admitted to lying

He was the only person who claimed he saw Moshoeu being thrown from the vehicle. 

But this weekend, according to Rapport, Mahikeng preacher Paul Morule said Pakisi admitted lying in court.

"I am a man of God and I can't allow two men to go to jail for murder when they're innocent," Morule reportedly said.

Morule is reportedly an employee of Doorewaard's uncle, Pieter Karsten, who also employed both convicted men. However, Morule asserts that his connection to the men is unrelated to his claims.

In January, Morule reportedly recorded Pakisi in a Spur restaurant in Mahikeng. Speaking Tswana, Morule told him: "I wasn't there when it happened. I didn't see anything," according to Rapport.

The newspaper reported that Pakisi also admitted fabricating his version of events to attorney, Kobus Burger.

In June last year, Doorewaard's advocate, Hennie du Plessis, accused Pakisi of changing his version of events, News24 reported.

"I want to put it to you that you have been fabricating your version and changing [it] the whole time we are in court," he told Pakisi at the time.

"In short, I don't believe you. Your version started with two suspects throwing the deceased from the van. Another one says there were three suspects who threw the child from the van," Du Plessis added.

ALSO READ: Coligny murder trial: 'You are not telling the truth' – Defence tells witness

'Recording is a set-up'

When confronted about Morule's recording, Pakisi claimed he was being set up by people who wanted to see Doorewaard and Schutte acquitted, Rapport reported.

He was reportedly given Converse sneakers and whisky as bribes.

Karsten and Morule have denied involvement.

Pakisi was also assaulted by three men last Friday, but this was reportedly a separate incident involving a woman, who was the girlfriend of one of the attackers, according to police.

Doorewaard and Schutte are to be sentenced between January 28 and 31. 

Following Rapport's article, civil rights group AfriForum said it would offer legal and other aid to Doorewaard and Schutte.

Read more on:    matlhomola moshoeu  |  bonakele pakisi  |  bloemfontein  |  courts

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