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Coligny divided as houses torched in wake of bail decision

Violent demonstrations took place in Coligny on Monday following the magistrates court’s decision to grant bail to murder accused Pieter Doorewaad and Phillip Schutte.

Police confront community members outside the Coligny magistrates court on 8 May 2017. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Angry Coligny residents lash out at each other as protests continue to rock the North West town, dividing the community.

Violent demonstrations took place in Coligny on Monday following the magistrates court’s decision to grant bail to murder accused Pieter Doorewaad and Phillip Schutte.

The pair allegedly killed 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu after the teenager allegedly stolen sunflowers from a farm.

Community members reacted to the bail decision by burning at least three houses targeting farmers’ houses.

Magistrate Magaola Faso said the pair met the requirements for bail as they don’t have previous convictions and will not evade trial, among other reasons.

However, that decision was met by furious reaction from community members who were angered that bail was not denied.

“We’re going to burn every to ashes, we’re tired of this. Enough is enough, let’s call a spade a spade.”

Several houses belonging to farmers in the area were set alight. One of the residents was angered when she saw her neighbours’ house also set alight.

“Why do they have to burn their houses? What’s the reason for that? Only to come and steal, there’s no justice here.”

The North West National Prosecuting Authority says it respects the courts but the magistrate should have considered the public outcry to deny bail.

WATCH: Coligny community outraged as murder accused granted bail

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)