Johannesburg – The death of a Coligny teenager who allegedly jumped from two farmers’ moving bakkie is being exploited for political reasons, the Solidarity Movement said on Thursday.
People were bussed in from outside the North West town to commit crime and loot, chairperson Flip Buys said in a statement.
A tense political atmosphere had prevailed in Coligny for some time between ANC members and mayor-elect Daniel Buthelezi, he said.
Buys and organisations affiliated with the movement, including Afriforum, visited Coligny on Wednesday to gather facts about what happened and help residents where needed.
A large number of police officers were in the town and the SAPS had the situation under control, Buys said.
Pieter Doorewaard, 26 and Philip Schutte, 34, the two farmers accused of killing 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu, are expected to continue their bail application in the town’s magistrate’s court on Friday.
Buys said a contingency plan was in place to prevent violence following the court’s ruling. Police and residents were preventing external troublemakers from getting in.
“The law must take its course and members of the public should refrain from passing judgment and finding the men guilty in the media,” Buys said.
“Whoever commits murder, be it white on black or black on white, deserves a life sentence. We are, however, of the opinion that this incident is an example of the double standards that apply in South Africa at the moment given that the two persons involved happen to be Afrikaans males,” he said.
According to Coligny’s businesspeople, race relations in the town were healthy and the situation was being blown out of proportion on social media and by people spreading rumours, Buys claimed.
It was remarkable to see how Coligny residents were helping one another.
“This comes after serious damage had been done to private homes, businesses in the informal settlement that belong mainly to foreigners, and to shops in town,” he said.