Coligny murder witness ‘offered R3m to say he lied’

Man whose testimony put farmers in jail claims he was forced to confess

Bonakele Pakisi claimed he was shown a firearm and forced to read an already prepared statement to ‘confess’ that he had lied in court
Bonakele Pakisi claimed he was shown a firearm and forced to read an already prepared statement to ‘confess’ that he had lied in court
Image: Tiro Ramatlhatse

The sole witness in a murder case against two Coligny farm workers was allegedly offered R3m to lie about his testimony.

Bonakele Pakisi‚ whose testimony ensured that the two farmers were convicted in 2018‚ claimed he was shown a firearm and was forced to read an already prepared statement to “confess” that he had lied in court.

Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport revealed a recording in which Pakisi confessed to having lied in court in 2018.

The latest development could see the two accused‚ Phillip Schutte and Pieter Doorewaard‚ who were convicted in 2018‚ freed.

The two were convicted after being found guilty of killing 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu at the Rietvlei farm in Coligny in April 2017.

Pakisi was kept in witness protection for the duration of the trial and was only released in August.

He survived two alleged attacks at his home about two weeks ago.

On Monday‚ Pakisi went to the Coligny police station and told police that he had been forced by a relative of one of the accused to lie.

Pakisi said an unknown man had come to his house on January 7‚ and told him that state advocate Rapula Molefe wanted to see him in Mahikeng.

He said he then drove with that man but, on arrival in Mahikeng‚ he was given R1‚000 to buy himself “anything nice” while waiting for Molefe.

Pakisi said on his return‚ he found Doorewaard’s relative‚ Pieter Kirsten‚ waiting for him with the man who had driven him to Mahikeng.

The driver was later identified as Reverend Paul Morule‚ who worked for Kirsten.

“I then realised that it was a set-up. I demanded to be driven back home but they refused‚” he said.

Pakisi said the men then showed him a piece of paper with a confession‚ which he was allegedly forced to read aloud while being recorded.

He alleged that Kirsten‚ a prominent businessman‚ had also offered him R3m.

Pakisi said Kirsten had told him that he did not have a choice but to read out aloud while he was recording him.

“He promised to give me R3m and also to build me a house [outside] Coligny if I say on record that the evidence I gave in court was a lie‚” he said.

Pakisi said he refused at first.

“He [Kirsten] then showed me a gun and told me that if I do not agree‚ I will be killed in 24 hours‚” he alleged. Kirsten disputed this. “This guy [Pakisi] is not in contact with reality and I think it’s time for him to be stopped‚” Kirsten said.

He claimed to have only seen Pakisi twice – in court and at the police inspection in loco.

Morule said on Monday that he had made a recording of Pakisi and leaked it to the Sunday newspaper.

Morule said he had recorded Pakisi’s statement before taking him to his lawyer‚ who also made a recording.

North West police spokesperson Sam Tselanyane confirmed that Pakisi had relayed the same story to police and a case of intimidation had been opened. –

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