Pieter Doorewaard hugs a family member at the North West High Court in Mahikeng. Picture: Molaole Montsho / ANA

Mahikeng - The defence in the Coligny sunflower murder case on Thursday, pleaded with the North West High Court in Mahikeng not to impose a life sentence on the two men convicted of killing teenager Matlhomola Mosweu.

Advocate Celine Zwiegelaar told the court that her client had shown remorse.

"In sentencing, the court should consider what the society needs and not what the society wants," she said.

"The society in this matter, does not need life imprisonment. My lord, I am not saying accused one should not be punished. The society in this matter does not need life imprisonment as far as court one [murder] is concerned." 

Zwiegelaar told the court that Pieter Doorewaard has a clean criminal record, and he handed himself to the police and also volunteered his van to the police.

Doorewaard, 27, and Phillip Schutte, 34,  have been found guilty of killing 16-year-old Mosweu on April 20, 2017, by pushing him out of a moving van after they allegedly found him stealing sunflower heads at their employer's field at Rietvlei farm.

The court also found the men guilty of kidnapping, intimidation, theft, and pointing of a firearm.

Advocate Pieter Smit, for Schutte, said the two have already been on trial in public opinion.

He asked the court to consider that Schutte was married with three minor children and he was the sole provider of his family.

Advocate Rapula Molefe asked the court to imposed the minimum prescribed sentence, stating that the defence did not bring any compelling reasons for the court to divert from the prescribed sentence.

Molefe said the two did not show remorse, neither did they convey their condolences to the family of Mosweu.

He described the killing of Mosweu as barbaric and brutal.

"The deceased died for a sunflower of the value of R80," Molefe said.

"He said the accused refused to return to the scene of the accident, stating they have other business, the question here is -- where is remorse?" Molefe asked.

African News Agency (ANA)