The key witness in the death of Matlhomola Mosweu in 2017 in Coligny in North West, Bonakele Pakisi says his life has changed for the worst since testifying.
“People are calling me names, saying that I killed Matlhomola or had something to do with his death. What was I supposed to do? Should I have kept quiet?”
The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has acquitted Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, who had earlier been convicted and sentenced for Mosweu’s death.
Despite criticism about the authenticity of his testimony, Pakisi remains steadfast in his recollection of events.
“All I can say and what hurts me the most is that I took an oath in court and told the truth. I even showed the court everywhere we went. I didn’t make what happened; it’s what happened to me when I was with them. They took me and Matlhomola Mosweu and drove around with us for a long time before we came around this way and they told me they were taking Matlhomola to the clinic.”
Supreme Court of Appeal overturns convictions of Coligny teen’s alleged murderers:
Matlhomola Mosweu’s death sparked violent protests in the area.
The deceased’s 46-year-old mother Agnes Mosweu says she now has more questions about what really happened to her son.
“All I want to know is whether or not my son killed himself because they say they didn’t kill him so I want to know who did…Even if they don’t go to prison, I am fine. They can live whatever life they want to live…I lost a child. I have accepted that they killed him. I have accepted that my son is dead.”
Conviction set aside
The Supreme Court on Friday overturned the murder conviction of Doorewaard and Schutte, who had both been sentenced to 23 and 18 years behind bars respectively by the High Court in the North West in October 2018.
They had been found guilty of murder, kidnapping, intimidation, theft and pointing a firearm.
AfriForum chief executive officer, Kallie Kriel, says justice has finally prevailed.
“We are happy about this judgment; you know the justice system is not having people that are innocent in jail. From the beginning, we knew that they were innocent because it was clear from the evidence that the state’s only witness lied. And that is why AfriForum said we would fund the appeal case. We funded everything, we funded Advocate Barry Roux and the rest of the legal counsel. So now we’re shown to be right and we are happy about that, it’s such a great pain that someone died but we cannot put innocent people in jail. And today we saw justice was done.”
In December 2019, the community of Coligny said they would not reconcile with Mosweu’s killers.
The Coligny murder case caused racial tension in North West: