COLIGNY, March 26 – “Black life is cheap”, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said on Monday at the trial of two farm workers charged with murdering a Coligny teenager.
“We want the police to take action against the first police officer who handled this case on April 20. The accused were only arrested five days after the incident, and when a new investigating officer took over. Black life is cheap, this is reflected on this case. We want an explanation,” said EFF’s Israel Monaisa.
He said they want Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Phillip Schutte, 34, accused of killing Matlhomola Mosweu, 16, to be given a life sentence.
North West High Court judge Ronald Hendricks did an inspection in loco of the scene where Mosweu was allegedly killed on April 20, 2017 at Scotland informal settlement near Coligny.
The State alleges the pair assaulted Mosweu and threw him out of a moving van at Rietvlei farm near Coligny after accusing him of stealing sunflower heads from their employer Pieter Karsten’s sunflower crop plantation.
The state further alleges that the pair kidnapped Bonakele Pakisi who witnessed the incident and drove with him around the farm and assaulted and threatened to kill him if he reported the incident. They also allegedly stole his cell phone and pointed a gun at him.
Earlier on Monday Pakisi, who is the state’s key witness, pointed out the locations where everything happened.
He said he heard a boy screaming: “Mama [mother] help I am dying”.
He explained that he was walking near a farm house near the sunflower fields when he saw the two dumping Mosweu’s body. He said when they realised he had seen them, they picked him up, loaded him onto the back of their bakkie and asked him if he had seen what happened.
He denied seeing anything, but they continued to threaten him and drive around with him.
Pakisi said they drove to a dam where they pointed a gun at him, made him drink alcohol and ordered him to run in front of the moving bakkie while they fired shots around him.
He vomited and collapsed and the two left him there. He said time Mosweu was lying at the back of the bakkie the entire time.
Furthermore, he said they took his cellphone and on April 21, they arrived at his home in Tlhabologang wanting to know whether he had told the police or anyone else about what happened.
The court conducted an inspection in loco after the defence applied for it on Friday so that they could inspect the scene before cross examining Brigadier Clifford Kgorane.
Pakisi’s mother bust into tears when she saw her son arrive at their home as she had not seen him since April last year when he was placed in witness protection.
His mother was whisked away and he did not enter his home, but pointed out where the two accused allegedly threatened him not to tell anyone about the incident.
Mosweu’s death, known as “sonneblom (sunflower) murder”, triggered violent mass protests that left a trail of destruction in the small maize growing town and divided the community along racial lines.
Doorewaard and Schutte are standing trial at the North West High Court in Mahikeng and have been released on R5000 bail each.
They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them.