Coligny boy identified, family found

People protest outside the Coligny Magistrate's Court. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)
People protest outside the Coligny Magistrate's Court. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

The 12-year-old boy whose death sparked protests and unrest in the North West town of Coligny has been identified.

Local school principal Stanny Mnyakama tracked down the boy's parents in Scotland [the informal settlement near where the boy died].

The boy was identified as Faki Mosweu.

Mnyakama had earlier said the only clue to the identity of the boy was the name written on one of his takkies: Kabelo Fani.

But the writing was not legible and it turned out that the name written there was actually 'Faki'.

As to why it took so long for the parents to be found, Mnyakama said: "The boy's parents were staying in separate places - they have long been separated."

He said the father was surprised and worried, having not seen his son for two weeks.

Mnyakama had been to Scotland many times and spoke to people there, but no one seemed to know the boy.

But today he found a group of people drinking liquor and showed them the picture of the boy. They recognised him and led Mnyakama to the boy's parents.

Mnyakama showed the picture of the boy to the parents who positively identified him as their son, Faki Mosweu.

"The parents are on their way with the police to the mortuary to identify their son," Mnyakama said.

Today marked 11 days that the body of the boy allegedly killed by two farmers Pieter Doorewaard, 27, and his co-accused, Phillip Schutte, 34, had lain unclaimed in the government mortuary in nearby Lichtenburg.

His killing sparked violence and destruction this week, and left the town simmering with bitter racial tension.

Residents say the boy and a friend, who is now in witness protection, were found in or near the sunflower field by Doorewaard and Schutte, who allegedly accused them of stealing.

The two farmers, who appeared in court on Friday, reportedly told police that they were taking the children to the police station when the child jumped off the moving bakkie.

Black residents, however, believe that the child was beaten.

Doorewaard and Schutte walked into court and sat crestfallen in the dock as Magistrate Mattheus Lodewikus van Loggerensberg described the young boy’s death as “tragic”.

Van Loggerensberg, a longtime resident of Coligny, recused himself from the case, citing safety concerns for his family. He called for a “neutral” magistrate for “justice to be seen to be done and no perception of bias to exist”.

The case was postponed to May 9.

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