Pieter Doorewaard hugs a family member at the North West High Court in Mahikeng. The court heard that he grew up in a home that upheld Christian values. Picture: Molaole Montsho / ANA

Mahikeng - Pieter Doorewaard, one of the two men convicted of killing Matlhomola Mosweu in Coligny, grew up in a Christian family, the North West High Court heard on Thursday.

"My lord, accused one and his next of kin are active members of the Dutch Reformed Church in Coligny, North West, and accused one until the date of his conviction on a regular basis attended the church service and participated in the outreach programmes in which the church are involved, as he used to do whilst he was still a learner at Potchefstroom Gymnasium as confirmed by the principal and educator at the school in the testimony," advocate Cecile Zwiegelaar said.

"Accused one grew up in a warm, loving and caring environment in which Christian values such as respect to others were instilled in them."

Presenting mitigating factors for the purposes of sentencing, Zwiegelaar said the court should consider that Doorewaard was a first time offender.

"The first accused was born on 17 July 1990, at the time of the offence he was 26 years old, he is now 28. He is not only a youthful offender but also a first offender."

Zwiegelaar said Doorewaard was an active member of the Dutch Reformed Church in Coligny and participated in church outreach programmes.

He was taking care of his grandmother, aged 86. in Coligny, after his grandfather died in 2015, and also took over to manage the family farming business after the death of his uncle.

"Accused one did not have previous grudges with the law, he does not have pending cases," Zwiegelaar said.

She added that Doorewaard had been appointed a deputy cell captain at the Rooiground prison where he is being detained while awaiting sentence.

Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, 34, have been found guilty of killing Mosweu, 16, on April 20, 2017, by pushing him out of a moving van after they found him stealing sunflower heads at their employer's field at Rietvlei farm.

They have also been found guilty of kidnapping, intimidation, theft and the pointing of a firearm.

Sentencing proceedings continue.

African News Agency (ANA)