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Calls for calm in troubled #Coligny

Crime & Courts
Coligny – North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has called for calm in Coligny amid violent protests sparked by the court decision to grant bail to two men accused of causing the death of 16-year-old schoolboy Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu who they caught stealing sunflowers.

The granting of bail to Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Phillip Schutte, 34, on Monday, was accompanied by violent protests that resulted in the torching of three houses in the area.

The pair were granted R5 000 bail each.

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Protesting residents use a corrugated iron sheet as a shield. Passing cars were pelted with stones on the N14 and police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the protesters. Picture: ANA

A huge police presence has since been deployed to Coligny, which remains tense as protesters demand the cancellation of bail of the accused.

Protesters accuse the justice system of being soft on rich white farmers nabbed for allegedly committing crimes against poor black residents.

Mahumapelo, who on Tuesday said a "Reconciliation, Healing and Renewal Forum" was being established in Coligny.

"The forum will comprise of stakeholders in Coligny and will strive to bring lasting peace and stability through the programmes that will constitute part of the forum," said the premier.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in the North West has also called for calm and tolerance.

"The department condemns in strongest terms all forms of violence, destruction of both state and private properties.

Communities need to adhere and abide to the rule of law, and refrain from acts of vigilantism and hooliganism," said department spokesperson, Thabo Seadira.

Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Phillip Schutte, 34, accused of killing Matlhomola Mosweu, 16, The pair were granted R5,000 bail each. Protesting residents of Coligny want their bail to be cancelled. Picture: ANA

However, residents continued protesting on Tuesday afternoon. They demanded that Doorewaard and Schutte be re-arrested and put back in custody.

The N14 highway, near Coligny, has been rendered impassable after protesters left debris, including rocks, strewn along the thoroughfare.

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