Family of Matlhomola Moshoeu thankful Coligny murder trial underway

2018-03-20 19:26
Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte appears in the North West High Court in Mahikeng. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte appears in the North West High Court in Mahikeng. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Mahikeng – The family of 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu, who was allegedly killed by two farmworkers in Coligny, in the North West, on Tuesday said they were happy that the trial was finally underway. 

"What is very crucial is that we have been dealing with assumptions and hypothesis, but now we believe the truth will come out," primary school principal Stanny Mnyakama said on behalf of the family. 

Mnyakama was speaking to the media shortly after the trial of Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Philip Schutte, 34, was postponed in the North West High Court in Mahikeng. 

"As a family, we will allow the whole case to unfold," Mnyakama said. 

Following Matlhomola's death, Mnyakama, who is also listed as one of the witnesses in the matter, barely slept, desperate to find the teen's family as he lay unidentified in the state mortuary.

Doorewaard and Schutte allegedly caught Matlhomola stealing sunflowers on April 20, 2017. 

They claimed they were driving him to the local police station when he allegedly jumped off their bakkie and broke his neck.

'Pushed off' 

An eyewitness alleges he was pushed off.

On Tuesday morning the men pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, intimidation, kidnapping, theft, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and pointing of a firearm. 

They stated in their plea explanation that they dispute that they unlawfully and intentionally killed Matlhomola by throwing him out of a moving vehicle.  

They also dispute that they unlawfully had an unlicensed firearm in their possession. 

The two men appeared calm during proceedings. Matlhomola's parents were also in court, accompanied by relatives. 

WATCH DOCUMENTARY: Stealing Sunflowers

Teen 'might not have anticipated the fall'

Dr Ruweida Moorad, who is a specialist forensic pathologist, testified that Matlhomola's injuries were consistent with a fall or jump from a vehicle. However, she said she did not observe any signs that Matlhomola tried to protect himself when he jumped.

"There were no injuries documented to the hands, his protective mechanisms were not employed," she said, adding that he would not have landed in a static situation and that after falling, he would have continued to move in order to sustain himself.

Moorad also said that Matlhomola might not have anticipated the fall. 

She also told the court that Matlhomola, whose name means "sorrow", had severe external injuries.  

His death sparked protests in the area which saw a number of houses and business burnt to the ground. Residents claimed he was killed because he was black.

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

The trial continues on Thursday.

Read more on:    coligny  |  matlhomola moshoeu  |  courts

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