Farm workers Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte who killed Coligyn teenager Matlhomola Mosweu.
Farm workers Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte who killed Coligyn teenager Matlhomola Mosweu.

Murder witness' life of hell after testifying against Matlhomola Mosweu's killers

By Lehlohonolo Mashigo Time of article published Sep 18, 2019

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What was seen as a key testimony in the Coligny sunflower murder trial has caused a life of hell for Bonakele Pakisi.

The Coligny resident has even contemplated arming himself following numerous threats to his life.

Pakisi was a key witness for the State in the murder trial of teenager Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu, who was killed by farmworkers Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, in 2017.

The pair pushed Mosweu out of a moving van after they found him stealing sunflower heads worth R80 in their employer’s field at Rietvlei farm, near Scotland informal settlement, in Coligny, North West.

Mosweu’s neck was broken in the assault and he died on the way to hospital in Lichtenburg.

The court relied on Pakisi’s testimony as the sole witness to the incident.

Pakisi said his problems started with racial slurs directed at him.

“The biggest threat to my life recently has been the brother of one of the convicted men. Earlier this year, he drove towards me in his bakkie and stopped the car right next to me.

“He accused me of sending his brother to prison.

“He told me he wasn’t done with me and that he was going to eat me piece by piece,” recalled Pakisi.

He said that the situation was made worse by his economic position because he cannot find work.

“All I do is apply (for jobs) but I can’t seem to find any work in the area. I thought after this case my life will move on but it became undone by my involvement in the case,” he said.

He said he just wanted to live a normal life but all he seemed to get was threats and racial slurs hurled at him.

Pakisi said that he had even contemplated suicide because he felt like the biggest enemy in his community.

“Everything in my life is just stuck. I thought of killing myself more than once. No one is supporting me at all,” he said.

Pakisi said that there was still lots of racism in the town and wanted to take some of his cases to the SA Human Rights Commission.

“It is known here in Coligny that you can’t even enter certain shops that are predominantly white.”

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