Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte accused of killing Matlhomola Mosweu in Coligny, North West, will know on October 17 whether they are convicted or acquitted. Photo: Molaole Montsho

Mahikeng - One of the two men convicted of killing Matlhomola Mosweu in Coligny in the North West is suffering from depression and has lost weight, the North West High Court heard on Thursday.

Advocate Pieter Smit, acting for Phillip Schutte, told the court that Schutte was distressed and had developed depression which led to him losing about 14 kilogrammes since his conviction in October 2017.

He explained that Schutte was distressed as he was unable to provide for his wife and three children.

"Accused two is married with three minor children. His wife helps her parents at their guesthouse in Parys, she does not generate income from the guesthouse. The arrangement is that she and the children live for free, this does not include groceries.

"This made accused two the sole provider or breadwinner of his family," Smit told the court.

Presenting mitigating factors in sentencing proceedings against Schutte, Smit said the court should consider that he was a first offender.

Schutte and Pieter Doorewaard have been found guilty of killing Mosweu, 16, on April 20 2017 by pushing 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.

Their lawyers have called on the court not to impose the minimum sentence of life imprisonment but to instead consider a lesser sentence.

They further pleaded that in the other offences, the sentences should run concurrently with the sentence imposed on the murder count.

African News Agency (ANA)