COLIGNY – Two farmers accused of killing a 12-year-old boy appeared briefly in the Coligny Magistrate’s Court in the North West on Friday.
The case against Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte was postponed to May 9, for formal bail application.
The two are accused of killing a 12-year-old boy in Coligny on April 20. The boy died after allegedly jumping out or falling off a bakkie driven by one of the farmers. The men had allegedly loaded the boy in the bakkie after accusing him of stealing a sunflower from their field.
The men allegedly loaded him in the bakkie with the intention of taking him to the police station, but he fell off or jumped from the bakkie when it apparently slowed down to negotiate a curve.
The death of the as yet unidentified boy sparked violent protests that left a trail of destruction in the small maize producing town. The violence saw the torching of three houses and three trucks.
On Friday the two accused entered the court handcuffed and their heads covered with hooded jackets.
Through their legal representative they asked the court that the police allow their relatives to bring them blankets in the police holding cells where they are kept in custody as it was too cold for them.
Magistrate Wikus van Loggerenberg postponed the case and recused himself from hearing the matter, citing the interests of justice and for the safety and security of himself and his family as a resident of Coligny. A new magistrate would hear the bail application on May 9.
Outside the court, residents of Tlhabologang sang liberation songs and waved placards calling for the accused not to be granted bail.
Access to the courtroom was given only to journalists, community leaders and religion leaders due to the small capacity of the courtroom.
The mayor of Ditsobotla, Daniel Buthelezi, and five North West MECs attended the proceedings.
North West Community Safety MEC, Dr Mpho Motlhabane, said the situation was under control, despite community members protesting outside court. He said the community were supporting the process of justice.
The accused were whisked away through another gate while angry community members were protesting at the gate where the accused had been expected to exit the court premises.
– African News Agency (ANA)