Mujahid Safodien was apparently told he is on private property when the farmer attacked him. Screengrab: YouTube
Cape Town - Former Cape Times photographer Mujahid Safodien says he’s reluctant to press charges against a man who violently attacked him while he was covering protests in Coligny in the North West over the death of a teenager.

The small town has been the site of protest action since the death of 17-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu.

On Monday, two farmers accused of his murder were each granted R5 000 bail.

Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte were arrested on April 25 for Mosweu’s death.

The two farmers allege the teenager jumped from a moving bakkie. However, according to an eyewitness, Matlhomola was thrown out. The two allege they caught the teenager stealing sunflowers at their employer’s field. They say they put him in the back of a van and intended to hand him over to police, but he jumped out of the bakkie 3km away from the town and suffered neck injuries.

Mujahid Safodien was attacked by a farmer in the Coligny protests. He was apparently told he is on private property when the farmer attacked him. Screengrab: Youtube

Following the release of Doorewaard and Schutte, residents of the Scotland informal settlement marched to the homes of the two men, setting one of them alight.

Journalists in Coligny followed the protesters, ending up at one of the houses which had been torched.

Safodien says he was in the yard of the house, alongside police when he and several other colleagues were sprayed with water.

“The owner of the house accused us (journalists) of knowing about plans to burn down the house.” He was captured on camera being wrestled to the ground by the man, receiving a few cuts on his face and camera equipment damaged. “This happened to me in the 1980s, in the 1990s. It happens all the time.” - Additional reporting from ANA

Cape Times