Convicted murderers Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte at the North West high court in Mahikeng ahead of their sentencing. Picture: Molaole Montsho/African News Agency/ANA

Mahikeng - The family of slain Coligny teenager Matlhomola Mosweu have welcomed the sentence the North High Court handed down on his killers.

"I am happy with the 20 years behind bars," said family spokesman Stan Mnyakama.

"We are saying, after the judge articulated his fact he had to consider, we then agree that he is right, if they are first offenders there is nothing we can do but, I am happy with the 20 years behind bars.

"When the judge was articulating his facts, I think we could have realised he even said somewhere there was no intention..." 

Mosweu's father Sakkie Dingake had said he was expecting a life sentence.

"I have not accepted that my child is dead, it is painful for me. I am still hurt," he said.

Pieter Doorewaard, 28, and Phillip Schutte, 35, were sentenced at the North West High Court on Wednesday.

Schutte was sentenced to 20 years for murder, three years for kidnapping, two years for intimidation, one year for theft and two years for pointing of a firearm. The sentence on intimidation, theft and pointing of a firearm will run concurrently.

"Accused two you will serve an effective 23 years," Judge Ronnie Hendricks said.

Doorewaard was sentenced to 15 years for murder, three years for kidnapping, two years for intimidation, a year for theft and two years for pointing of a firearm. The sentences for intimidation, theft and pointing of a firearm will run concurrently, concurrently meaning he will effectively serve 18 years.

The judge considered that the pair were first offenders.

The pair killed Mosweu, 16, on April 20 2017 by pushing him out of a moving van after they found him stealing sunflower heads worth R80 at their employer's field at Rietvlei farm.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in North West also welcomed the sentence.

"Initially we would be very happy if we got a life imprisonment but after listening carefully to the judge's sentence, we are accepting the sentence and we are happy, we feel the sentence is appropriate," said acting spokesperson Advocate Tembeka Mbandu.

African News Agency (ANA)