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EXCLUSIVE: Coligny murder witness wanted life sentences for killers

In an exclusive interview, Bonakele Pakisi says that Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte should have been handed stiffer sentences for killing 15-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu.

Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte appear in the North West High Court for their sentencing. The pair was found guilty of killing 16-year-old Mathlomola Moshoeu in Coligny. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The State’s sole witness in the so-called Coligny sunflower case has told Eyewitness News that he had hoped for life behind bars for the two convicted murderers.

In an exclusive interview, Bonakele Pakisi says that Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte should have been handed stiffer sentences for killing 15-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu.

On Wednesday, the High Court in the North West sentenced the pair to an effective 18 and 23 years in prison respectively for Moshoeu's 2017 murder - who they had accused of stealing sunflowers from their farm.

After the murder, some residents told EWN racial divides in the area felt like "apartheid still exists in Coligny" and that they didn't have faith in the police service or judiciary there.

Moshoeu's murder on 20 April 2017 is still vivid in Pakisi's memory.

The only man who witnessed Moshoeu's murder and helped the State to secure its convictions has told Eyewitness News that what he saw still haunts him.

"It was tough, really tough, but as I was saying to you, with the parents, whatever happens, they will be on my side."

Pakisi says he had hoped for Doorewaard and Schutte to be locked away for longer due to the seriousness of their crimes.

"It's fine, but I'm not happy. [I was hoping for] a life sentence."

Pakisi, who had been under police protection for the duration of the trial until late last year, claims that he has survived at least two attempts on his life.

He says while he constantly lives in fear, the support of his family has given him strength.

WATCH: Coligny murder: 'I'd have been happy with life sentences for killers'