COLIGNY, August 7 – Two men accused of killing a teenage boy, appeared briefly in the Coligny Magistrate’s Court in the North West on Monday.
The case against Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Phillip Schutte, 34, was postponed to October 6, for investigation and for the director of public prosecutions to decide whether the case should be heard in a regional or high court.
The defence applied that the case be marked final for postponement, but Magistrate Mattheus van Loggerenberg said the matter could only marked final for investigation and not for the decision of the director of public prosecution.
The two are accused of killing 16-year-old Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu, on April 20 at Scotland informal settlement in Coligny after accusing him of stealing sunflower from their employer’s field.
They claimed they put Mosweu at the back of a van intending to take him to the police but, he jumped out of the moving van and injured his neck.
However, an eyewitness told the police Mosweu was thrown out of a moving van. He died on his way to hospital.
The two men are facing a charge of murder and attempted murder, for allegedly killing Mosweu, and also for allegedly shooting at an eyewitness.
Mosweu’s death triggered violent community protests that left a trail of destruction in the small maize growing town and divided the community along racial lines. At least six houses and three trucks were set alight and several shops looted and damaged during the violence.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said two senior prosecutors had been assigned to the case.
“The focus is to expedite the case, two senior prosecutors have read the docket and referred it back to the police for further investigation,” said NPA spokesperson Frank Lesenyego.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in North West said it was disappointed that the case was postponed again.
“As Cosatu, we want this case to be finalised, if charges against the accused are withdrawn, we will do everything in our power to reinstate the charges,” said provincial secretary Job Dliso.
Mosweu’s father Sakkie Dingake was also angry that the case was delayed.
“My son is dead, these men [accused] are working and walking free in the street. Was he [Matlhomola] not a human being?” he asked.
Community members protested outside the court, some dressed in African National Congress and Economic Freedom Fighters regalia. Some wanted to blocked the N14 highway while others wanted to trash the small town in protest at the postponement.
Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte are out on a R5,000 bail, which was extended.
– African News Agency (ANA).