'Police were under pressure to arrest #Coligny murder accused'
Mahikeng - The police were under pressure to make arrests following the death of Coligny teenager Matlhomola Mosweu, the North West High Court heard on Wednesday.
North West provincial head of Organised Crime, Brigadier Clifford Kgorane conceded under cross examination that the police were under pressure from the community.
"The police were under pressure... there were violent protests, houses were burnt - do you remember that? Is it that pressure that led you to change an inquest docket to murder, would it be fair to say you were under pressure to arrest the accused?" defence lawyer Pieter Smit asked him.
"I changed the docket to murder not due to the pressure from the community, but after interviewing the witness and reading his statement," Kgorane replied.
Kgorane was testifying for the state in the murder trial of Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte who have been accused of killing 16-year-old Motlhomola Mosweu.
Smit also questioned why he had not visited all of the locations identified by the key witness Bonakele Pakisi.
Kgorane said he went to specific scenes that he believed were part of the crime scene.
Pakisi pointed out several locations during the inspection in loco on Monday. He pointed out where he had seen the accused throwing Matlhomola out of a van, and putting him back on the load base after realising Pakisi had seen what happened.
He also alleged that they confronted him and forced him into the load base of the van, drove him around, assaulted him, attempted to throw him into a dam and fired shots at him.
The State alleges that Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Phillip Schutte, 34, assaulted Mosweu and threw him out of a moving van, on April 20, 2017 at Rietvlei farm near Coligny, accusing him of stealing sunflower heads from their employer Pieter Karsten's sunflower crop plantation near the informal settlement.
The State further alleges that the pair kidnapped Pakisi who witnessed the incident and drove with him around the farm, assaulted and threatened to kill him if he reported the incident.
They also allegedly took his cellphone and pointed a firearm at him.
They have pleaded not guilty to the seven charges against them. The trial continues.
African News Agency/ANA