North West police officer testifies he felt pressure working on Coligny murder case

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)

The trial of farmworkers Pieter Doorewaard, 27, and Philip Schutte, 34, who are accused of killing Matlhomola Moshoeu was on Wednesday postponed to June 6 after a request by the prosecution.

During proceedings earlier, a senior police official told the North West High Court in Mahikeng that he was under a lot of pressure from residents to make an arrest following the death of the teenager in Coligny last year April.

Under cross-examination by the defence's Advocate Pieter Smit, provincial head of organised crime Brigadier Clifford Kgorane said he started working on the case four days after Matlhomola Moshoeu's death.  

Smit spent Wednesday morning trying to punch holes in Kgorane's testimony.

"Would it be fair to say that you were under so much pressure from the community for you to make this (sic) people arrested?" Smit quizzed Kgorane.

"It is true, the fact that members of the community came to the police station and raised their concerns that the people involved [were] not arrested," Kgorane replied.

Cop 'embarrassed' by investigation

The officer denied that he changed the case from an inquest to a murder case because there was violence in the community.

He said he only made the changes after he perused the key witness' statement.  

"The community were already aware that a statement was taken from the eyewitness."

Kgorane had previously said that he was embarrassed by the manner in which the case was investigated.

ALSO READ: No blood found during probe into Coligny murder accused's vehicle - police

He said the case was initially registered as an inquest but added that he was concerned because he was told there was an eyewitness.

On Monday, the key witness in the murder trial claimed Moshoeu pleaded for his life as he was assaulted by the men.

In loco inspection

Bonakele Pakisi, the only person who allegedly witnessed the incident, told North West High Court Judge Ronnie Hendricks that he saw Moshoeu crying and screaming: "Mama help, I am dying."

The witness was at an inspection in loco on Monday.

READ: Key witness says slain teenager pleaded for his life

He pointed out a spot near Rietvlei farm in Coligny, where he claims he saw the accused assaulting Moshoeu.

The pair allegedly caught Moshoeu stealing a sunflower on April 20, 2017.

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

Pakisi, however, alleges the accused drove him around with Moshoeu, who was severely injured.

Request for postponement

The inspection was held at the request of the defence team ahead of its cross-examination of Kgorane.

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.

Moshoeu's death sparked protests in the area and some residents claimed he was killed because he was black.

Several houses and businesses were burnt to the ground.

Doorewaard and Schutte are out on R5 000 bail each.

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