Protesters set house alight after court ruling following death of boy
Racial tensions escalated in Coligny in North West after two men accused of killing a 16-year-old black boy were released on bail of R5 000 each yesterday. Residents and the boy’s parents were furious at the release of Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Phillip Schutte, 34, who have been charged with the murder of Matlhomola Mosweu.
After the court adjourned, public order police struggled to maintain order.
Hundreds of protesters set fire to a house belonging to a white farmer near the Coligny Magistrate’s Court.
“We are going to burn all the shops and farms owned by white people in the area,” they shouted.
There was no one at home at the time of the incident but the owner arrived shortly afterwards with a group of friends .
The men allegedly assaulted photographers who were taking pictures of the burning house.
The arrival of a police Nyala ended the confrontation.
Shortly after this a boy was shot in the leg, allegedly by one of the farmers.
Residents pelted police with stones, accusing them of allowing “white men to walk around with guns, shooting people”.
Police spokesman Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said no one had contacted the police to lay a complaint of assault.
North West Public Safety MEC Mpho Motlhabane pleaded with black and white communities to accept the court’s decision.
“We have beefed up security in the area and believe we will be able to calm the situation down,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mosweu’s parents wept uncontrollably after the bail ruling and had to be treated at a clinic. Mosweu’s father, Sakkie Dingake, said: “What about my son? Why? Why? I am hurt. This is not fair. The law favours white people and those who have money.”
Mosweu died on April 20 after he had been caught picking sunflowers.
The accused claim he jumped off a moving bakkie when they were taking him to the police station. He died later in hospital. The regional National Prosecuting Authority’s Frank Lesenyego said the state would be ready to lead evidence when the case resumed on June 26.