Coligny residents angry as farmers accused of teenager’s murder get bail

Two North West farmers, accused of killing 16-year-old Matlahomola Jonas Mosweu in Coligny, have been granted bail of R5 000 each. Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte were arrested on 25 April for the death of Matlahomola, who allegedly stole sunflower seeds on their farm on 20 April.

The two farmers testified that the teenager jumped off their moving bakkie, trying to escape, while being taken to the police station. However, a witness said he saw the two farmers beating up Mosweu.

Residents from Coligny were upset by the court’s decision and went on a rampage, setting three houses alight. Journalists on the scene reported being threatened by a gun-wielding man on the property. Photojournalist, Mujahid Safodien, was attacked and injured by the man.

Police reportedly used rubber bullets to protect farms from angry residents. North West police spokesperson, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, says no arrests have been made for the arson attacks.

Mosweu’s father, Sakkie Mosweu, was visibly angered by the court’s decision to grant the men bail. “No man! I am deeply pained, that was my child,” he said repeatedly in Sesotho.

Mosweu was buried on Sunday, 7 May. Brigadier Sabata says the boy’s cause of death has not yet been determined.

Dooreward and Schutte’s are expected back in court on 26 June.

Featured image by Malcolm Katlego/Mail & Guardian