Two farm workers convicted of murder wanted to punish a teenager they claim stole sunflower heads from their employer, the North West High Court said. File picture: ANA

Rustenburg - Two North West farm workers, convicted of murder, wanted to punish a teenage boy they claim stole sunflower heads from their employer, the North West High Court said on Wednesday.

Delivering judgment, Judge Ronnie Hendricks said Pieter Doorewaard, 27, and Phillip Schutte, 34, gambled with 16-year-old Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu's life when they threw him out of a moving van.

"The evidence also shows a certain motive, to punish the deceased for previous incidents of theft," the judge said.

Hendricks rejected their version that Mosweu jumped out of their moving van while they were taking him to the Coligny police station about 3km away, after they caught him stealing sunflower heads at the Rietvlei farm.

They were found guilty on a charge of murder, kidnapping, intimidation, theft and pointing of a firearm.

The State had charged that the pair killed Mosweu of Scotland informal settlement in Tlhabologang, Coligny on April 20, 2017, by pushing him out of a moving van.

The sole eyewitness of the incident Bonakele Pakisi had testified that Mosweu, known as Faki by his peers, was pushed from the moving van.

The case was postponed to Thursday, for sentencing. Doorewaard and Schutte would be kept in custody pending sentencing.

Mosweu's death set off mass violent protests in maize-producing Coligny, dividing the community into racial groups.

African News Agency (ANA)