Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte.
Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte.

Farmers convicted of killing NW teen over sunflower take their case to Appeals Court

By Bongani Nkosi Time of article published Jun 29, 2020

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Two farmers convicted of murdering teenager Matlhomola Moshoeu after they caught him allegedly stealing sunflowers are pinning their hopes on convincing the appeal court that the State’s star witness was not credible.

Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte’s appeal hearing is set down for August 17, 2020, at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Judge Ronald Hendricks found them guilty in October 2018 of murdering 16-year-old Moshoeu in Coligny, North West.

The pair was also found guilty of kidnapping, intimidation, theft and pointing a firearm.

The charges related to their actions after they caught Moshoeu allegedly stealing sunflowers from Rietvlei farm in Coligny.

The farm was owned by Doorewaard’s uncle, Pieter Kasten.

Doorewaard was sentenced to a term of 18 years behind bars and Schutte was handed 23 years.

The State proved before Judge Hendricks that Moshoeu met his death after being pushed from a moving van more than once.

“The deceased was picked up and loaded on to the van. The van drove forward and stopped again. This process was repeated,” the judge said.

“This must have happened with the knowledge of (Doorewaard). He needed not to be at the back of the van when the throwing-off of the deceased happened in order to be guilty of murder based on the principle of common purpose.”

Doorewaard and Schutte were convicted on the evidence of Bonakele Pakisi, who testified that he saw Moshoeu being pushed off the van.

The court will hear “whether Bonakele Pakisi was a credible and reliable State Witness”. Doorewaard and Schutte will also argue that the trial court committed a grave error by not issuing a subpoena to Warrant Officer Popo Seponkane to testify.

He was the first officer to take Pakisi’s statement.

Judge Hendricks shot down this point in his May ruling, saying defence advocates did not argue for Seponkane to be subpoenaed.

“It was incumbent upon the defence to call Seponkane if indeed it was essential to call him,” Hendricks said.

Seponkane was also “not an essential witness for a just determination of this case”, he added. Doorewaard and Schutte have been awaiting hearing of their appeal from their homes since last November.

While Judge Hendricks denied them leave to appeal in May last year, they went on to win the right to launch their appeal directly at the SCA.

They were released on bail granted by the North West High Court.

The bail was set at R20 000 each and they were ordered to report at the Ventersdorp Police Station three times a week.


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