Convicted killers Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte are seeking leave to appeal their convictions. File picture: ANA

JOHANNESBURG - A legal team led by Advocate Barry Roux will be petitioning the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein directly for leave to appeal the convictions of Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte for killing Coligny teenager, Matlhomola Moshoeu, AfriForum said on Thursday.

This follows the North West High Court's refusal early Thursday to grant the duo leave to appeal.  

Chief executive Kallie Kriel said his organisation had not expected the court to grant leave to appeal because the judge would have found it "difficult to admit having made a serious blunder" in his initial decision to find the two men guilty of murder. 

AfriForum says a witness has admitted that he lied to the court by accusing Doorewaard and Schutte of killing the 16-year-old.

"AfriForum will finance the two men’s legal costs to petition the highest court of appeal to ensure that justice is done and prevent innocent people from being wrongly imprisoned. 

"I am confident that the two men’s conviction for murder will eventually be set aside on the grounds of the available evidence,'' Kriel said in a statement.

Judge Ronnie Hendricks sentenced Doorewaard, 28, and Schutte, 35, to an effective 18 and 23 years respectively for killing Mosweu. 

The two were further sentenced to three years for kidnapping, two years for intimidation, one year for theft and two years for pointing of a firearm. 

The sentences will run concurrently.

The court found that the pair had pushed Mosweu out of a moving van in April 2017 after they found him stealing sunflower heads worth R80 at their employer's field at Rietvlei farm near Scotland informal settlement in Coligny, North West. 

African News Agency (ANA)