Coligny - The death of Coligny teenager Matlhomola Mosweu must bring the community together, North West Premier Job Mokgoro said on Thursday.
"We know what happened in Coligny. Matlhomola's life cannot be replaced," he said at a ceremony to hand over a house to Mosweu's family.
He said Mosweu's death sparked violent protests and awakened racism in the sleepy maize producing town.
The two-bedroomed house was pledged by the former human settlements minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Gift of the Givers in 2017, following the death of Mosweu who was accused of stealing sunflower seed heads at a Rietvlei farm.
The family had been staying in a dilapidated shack at Scotland informal settlement.
Born Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu, 16, the teenager was killed by Pieter Doorewaard, 28, and Phillip Schutte, 35, on April 20, 2017.
The pair caught Mosweu commonly known as Faki, with sunflower heads worth R80 at their employer's field. They put him in the load bin of their van and drove off, along the way Schutte pushed him out of the van while it was still in motion.
He sustained neck injuries and died on his way to the hospital in Lichtenburg. His death set off mass violent protests in the area. Six houses and three trucks were torched; several shops looted and damaged, and the town was shut down for five days until the two men handed themselves over to the police.
Doorewaard and Schutte claimed he jumped out of the van in an attempt to flee but the North West High Court had rejected their version and accepted the sole eyewitness, Bonakele Pakisi's, testimony that Mosweu was pushed from the van.
Schutte was sentenced to an effective 23 years imprisonment while Doorewaard was sentenced to an effective 18 years.
There was drama before the official ceremony, when Mosweu's mother Agnes Mosweu, rocked up at the event dressed in the Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) signature red T-shirt, and some officials including some African National Congress (ANC) members wanted her to change her T-shirt, but she refused.
"They cannot dictate to me what to wear," she angrily said after heated words were exchanged between ANC and EFF supporters.
Mosweu's father Sakkie Dingake was seated at the back of the VIP tent far from family members who were seated at the front.
He said he was not invited to the event and said that Agnes Mosweu was not happy that her house was built at Gerdoren Park in Coligny and not at the Scotland informal settlement where she lived.
Dingake reluctantly joined Agnes Mosweu when she was handed the key to the house.
"You only recognised me now," he said when he was called to come forward.
African News Agency (ANA)