Coligny residents call for withdrawal of murder charges against two farmers

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A local businessman approached the residents to sign the petition asking for the charges to be withdrawn.

Residents of Coligny have called for the withdrawal of murder charges against two farmers accused of killing a teenage boy, the Coligny Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday.

“The petition is to show the court that residents of Coligny are behind the accused and want charges against them to be withdrawn,” said local businessman Pieter Karsten.

He was testifying in the urgent bail application of Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, who have been accused of killing 17-year-old Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu on April 20.

Karsten, 48, who employed the two, and is Doorewaard’s uncle said he personally approached people to sign the petition. There were more than 150 signatures on the petition.

He told the court the mass protest that left a trail of destruction in Coligny was not linked to the murder of Matlhomola, but was in fact a spillover from a Lichtenburg protest related to service delivery.

He told the court that his businesses were looted and damaged during the protest, including two of his bottle stores.

The two accused claim they were driving the teenager to the police station when he jumped off their moving bakkie, breaking his neck.

While the bail application continued in court, fuming residents of Tlhabologang township chanted outside. They want the court to deny bail.

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