Mahikeng - Two men convicted of the murder of a teenage boy in Coligny, a crime that caused race riots, will spend their first Christmas this December in custody after sentencing was postponed to the new year.
North West High Court Judge Ronnie Hendricks set down January 28 to 31 as the court for sentencing Pieter Doorewaard, 27, and Phillip Schutte, 34, to January 28, 2019, on Thursday.
The pair were on Wednesday found guilty of the murder of Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu, and also convicted on charges of kidnapping, intimidation, theft and pointing of a firearm.
Mosweu, 16, of Scotland informal settlement in Tlhabologang near Coligny died on April 20, 2017, after he was pushed from a moving a van.
The pair maintained that Mosweu jumped from the moving van, while they had intended to hand him over to the police.
The claimed they caught Mosweu and another teenager, stealing sunflower heads from their employer Pieter Karsten's sunflower plantation at Rietvlei farm about three kilometres from Coligny. The value of the sunflower heads was said to be between R60 and R80.
The State charged that the murder was premeditated.
The court postponed the case on Thursday at the request of the defence.
Advocate Hennie du Plessis for Doorewaard asked the court for a postponement, saying both the defence and the State were not ready to proceed with pleading in mitigation and aggravation of sentencing.
Prosecutor advocate Moeketsi Moeketsi did not oppose the defence's request. Doorewaard and Schutte were on R5 000 bail each but, started their first night in custody as convicted murderers on Wednesday and will now wait behind bars to be sentenced.
The pair cut forlorn, teary-eyed figures in court. Seated metres apart, they bowed their heads to avoid photographers and eye contact with the gallery.
Their family members were seated at the back of the courtroom at the far right.
Mosweu's family who had been sitting in the same part of the courtroom since the trial started, moved to the centre just behind the Doorewaard and Schutte, the spot that had been occupied by Doorewaard's uncle Pieter Karsten during the trial.
Some members of the public voiced disappointment that the killers would only be sentenced next year, but Mosweu's father Sakkie Dingake said he was confident justice would be served.
"There is nothing I can do, if the court postponed the matter, I will wait until next year. I am happy that the two men who killed my son are in custody," he said.
The death of Mosweu, who was known as Faki amongst his peers, set off violent protests in which six houses and three trucks were torched and several shops were looted and damaged.
His death deepened the racial divide in Coligny. Black residents believed Faki was killed by the two white men because he was black, while the whites believed the incident was an accident.
Faki was the third son of Machibidu Agnes Mosweu and Sakkie Dingake, he was buried on May 7, 2017 in Coligny. He is survived by his parents, two brothers and four siblings.
African News Agency (ANA)