‘We’ll bury the boy, be back on Monday’ when Coligny men find out about bail

The Coligny Magistrates’ Court, where the two men accused of murder are applying for bail. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla
The Coligny Magistrates’ Court, where the two men accused of murder are applying for bail. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla

Magistrate Makgaola Foso will make known his decision on Monday whether the two men accused of killing a teenage boy in a small North West farming town of Coligny get bail.

After spending three days listening to the state and the two men’s lawyers arguing why they should or should not be freed on bail, Makgaola will spend his weekend studying both sides’ submissions.

The state has argued that Coligny could be plunged back into scenes of public disorder should Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte be granted bail.

Prosecutor Khetheni Mudau said a wave of violent protests, which was marked by looting and the torching of several white-owned houses, was sparked by the incident in which Schutte and Doorewaard were alleged to have thrown 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu off a moving bakkie.

Their version was that they found Moshoeu stealing sunflowers from their boss’s fields.

Mudau said the community went on the rampage and in a meeting with a senior police detective, Brigadier Clifford Kgorane, their leaders explained that they wanted the suspects arrested.

“Their protest action ended after the two men were arrested,” Mudau said.

The state called in a police crime intelligence officer, Colonel Johannes Serfontein, who told the court that information gathered by his unit was that the community would take back to the streets if the two men were granted bail and more looting could take place.

The two men’s defence argued that their clients were eligible for bail, saying the state’s case was weak and that the two men could not be linked to the alleged crime.

The court heard two versions of the incident.

The two accused men said they had ordered the boy into the bakkie after finding him stealing, with the intention of handing him over to the police.

They maintain the boy jumped off the moving vehicle with the intention of escaping. This was the cause of his injuries, they said.

The state decided to change the docket and charged the two men with murder after interviewing a man who said he witnessed one of the two men throwing the deceased off a moving bakkie.

The defence has also argued this week that the witness in question was yet to identify the two men in a formal identity parade and thus the pair so far could not be directly linked to the alleged crime.

Meanwhile, the community of Tlhabologang – a township on the outskirts of Coligny – have spent three days outside court, chanting “no bail” for the two.

Meanwhile, Foso’s judgment on Monday will come a day after Moshoeu’s burial on Sunday.

Leaving the court earlier, community members promised to be back on Monday.

“If they want trouble, then they must give them bail. We’re going to bury the boy and Monday we’ll be back here,” said one community member.

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