Riots and fears of race war as South African court grants bail to pair of farmers, Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, accused of killing black teen – allegedly thrown to his death from speeding truck over sunflower seeds
Riots and fears of race war as South African farmers bailed over black teen’s death in Coligny, South Africa on Monday
Two white farmers were granted bail for the alleged murder of black teenager by the Coligny Magistrate’s Court
Pieter Doorewaard, 26 and Phillip Schutte, 34, accused of murdering 16-year-old Moswi Matlhomala Moshoeu, April 20
Doorewaard Schutte said they caught Mathlomola stealing sunflowers from one of their plantations, put him on their pickup headed foe police station
Mathlomola jumped off the moving vehicle, they said
Witnesses say the two men pushed the youth out of the moving vehicle and continued driving leaving him to die
Pieter Doorewaard (Left) and Philip Schutte (Right), accused of murdering 16-year-old Moswi Matlhomala Moshoeu, attend their bail hearing
The granting of bail to a pair of white farmers accused of killing of a black teenager has sparked protests in Coligny in the North West part of South Africa, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake.
Local residents took to the streets looting and burning buildings demanding the arrest of the two suspects Pieter Dooreward and Philip Scutte.
Funeral service of for slain teen Matlhomola Moshoeu in Coligny, SA
“They are throwing rocks at the house and are coming through the walls – please hurry,” the panicked voice of a woman, speaking Afrikaans, shouts into a two-way radio. Mminutes later her home was in flames after being hit by petrol bombs.
The attack on the Rietvlei maize farm, on the outskirts of the remote South African town of Coligny, came just half an hour after two white farmers were granted bail for the alleged murder of a 16-year-old black teen, Matlhomola Moshoeu.
The narrative and circumstances of the boy’s death has been convoluted as it has been controversial and polarizing.
South African riot police officers run to disperse protesters in Coligny Standoff as protesters refuse to be intimidated by South African riot police in Coligny
Pieter Doorewaard, 26 and Phillip Schutte, 34, are accused of throwing Mathlomola Mosweu off a speeding pick up truck on April 20 after catching him picking sunflowers.
An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of Mathlomola’s death, but the facts of the case have mattered little in Coligny, where the case has inflamed long simmering racial tensions.
Powder keg: Simmering community members outside Coligny Magistrate’s Court during Monday’s bail hearings for the two farmers, Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, accused of killing a teen boy
A house on the farm Rietvlei outside Coligny by furious members of the community, after Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, were granted bail of R5000 by the Coligny Magistrate’s Court
Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte last week told the court that they caught Mathlomola stealing sunflowers from one of their plantations, on April 20.
They claimed that they put him on their bakkie [pickup truck] with the intention of taking him to the nearest police station, but before they could go anywhere, the teen jumped off the moving vehicle.
However, their affidavit was contrary to the statement of a witness who told police the farmers sat in the back of the truck with the deceased and pushed him off the moving vehicle.
Residents cleanup in the aftermath of the protests following the granting of bail to the two white farmers accused of killing a black teen over sunflower seeds
Officer Jeremia Modisane, who was at the Coligny police station when the accused went to report the incident, said he got the incident location given by the two men alone, because they apparently said they would not be able to accompany him as they had other business to take care of.
Modisane said upon arrival at the scene, he found the teenager lying face down, bleeding from his ears.
Pieter Doorewaard (Left) and Philip Schutte leave court their bail hearing
Hennie du Plessis, defense attorney for the Doorewaard and Schutte, told the hearing there was nothing his clients could do at the crime scene as they were not medical experts. However, Kgorane said the accused should have at least tried to contact the police or an ambulance.
During the bail hearing proceedings last week, local residents were seen dancing and chanting liberation songs, while shouting “no bail” outside court. Some of them, who did not want to be named, said there would be violent protests in the area in the event that the accused are granted bail.
The death of the teenager, who was on Sunday laid to rest, sparked violent protests in the area, which left at least four houses torched.