Court hears closing arguments in Coligny teen's murder case

Matlhomola Moshoeu was pushed off a moving bakkie back in 2017 after being accused of stealing sunflowers.

Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte at the North West Hight Court in Mahikeng for their sentencing. The duo were found guilty of the murder of 16-year-old Mathlomola Moshoeu in Coligny. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

COLIGNY - The High Court in the North West heard closing arguments in mitigation and aggravation of sentence in the murder case of Coligny teenager Matlhomola Moshoeu on Thursday.

The 16-year-old was pushed off a moving bakkie back in 2017 after being accused of stealing sunflowers.

Last year, Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte were convicted of his murder.

Over the past few days, the court heard testimonies from Moshoeu’s mother, Agnes, and a community and religious leader. They’ve called for life sentences for the men convicted of the boy’s murder.

Defence attorney Cecile Zwiegelaar, who represents accused number one, Doorewaard, presented her closing arguments.

She’s told the court the 28-year-old is a first-time offender and that has no previous pending cases.

Zwiegelaar has argued the court should take into consideration the fact that Doorewaard was not the one that pushed Moshoeu off a moving van but his co-accused Schutte. She says the convicted murderer has no history of being violent nor has issues of alcohol abuse.

She further argued that he's still struggling to come to terms with the death of Moshoeu, and that his death still causes him anxiety and stress.

At the same time, Schutte’s lawyer has argued that while the 35-year-old is also a first time offender, he is the sole breadwinner and a father to three young children.

Both defence lawyers have argued that life imprison will not serve the interest of justice nor of the community adding that imprisonment will be an appropriate sentence.

However, the State has pleaded with the court to send a strong message when sentencing the pair, as they committed a violent and barbaric crime.

The public gallery was packed with family members and relatives, as well as some members from the Economic Freedom Fighters and the African National Congress who have come to show their support.

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(Edited by Shimoney Regter)