Mon, 18 Jan 2021

  • The NPA is still studying the Supreme Court of Appeal judgment that acquitted Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte.
  • They were originally found guilty of murdering 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu by throwing him off of a moving bakkie.
  • The SCA found the case had not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has not yet decided whether or not it will be appealing the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment that acquitted the two men found guilty of murdering 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu in Coligny, the North West.

NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame on Monday said it was still studying the judgment to establish why the SCA disagreed with the judgment of the North West High Court, which found Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte guilty of throwing Mosheou off a moving bakkie.

The apex court on Friday acquitted Doorewaard and Schutte of a number of charges, including murder, after finding the State had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Despite a split in the outcome of the appeal, all three appellate judges agreed the standard of proof for a criminal trial was not met, and the police had displayed incompetence in the way the case was investigated.

READ | Bungled investigation, 1 eyewitness, fabricated testimony - why the Coligny accused were acquitted

The police are also studying the judgment after the finding investigators had bungled the case.

Meanwhile, the Judicial Service Commission confirmed to News24 a complaint had not yet been received.

Only Judge Mahube Molemela believed while Doorwaard and Schutte could not be found guilty of murder, Doorwaard, who was the driver of the bakkie on the day in question, should have been found guilty of culpable homicide.

The judgment also pointed out the only eyewitness, Bonakele Pakisi, on which the State's case rested on, had contradicted himself and his version was littered with inconsistencies.

Judge Nathan Ponnan even found certain testimony by Pakisi had been fabricated.

Doorewaard and Schutte said after they caught the deceased stealing sunflowers, they arrested him and told him to climb onto the back of the bakkie.

While taking Moshoeu to the police station, they stated he jumped off from the back of the bakkie.

ANALYSIS | Why two men were acquitted of Coligny teen's murder, and what it says about the legal system

They turned the bakkie around and found he was still alive, but injured. They then decided to drive to the police station for help and for arrangements to be made for an ambulance.

In 2018, Doorewaard and Schutte were found guilty of murdering the teenager as Pakisi said he had seen them throw Moshoeu to the ground from the back of the bakkie.

Pakisi originally said Schutte had thrown the teenager from the bakkie three times, but during his evidence before court, he said it only happened once. This was one of the many material contradictions pointed out by the appellate judges.

The North West High Court also found Doorewaard and Schutte guilty of kidnapping, intimidation, theft, and pointing a firearm, which related to allegedly trying to silence Pakisi.

In 2019, Doorewaard was sentenced to an effective 18 years' imprisonment, while Schutte was sentenced to an effective 23 years in prison.

Following an appeal heard in the SCA in August, the apex court set aside the convictions and sentences finding Doorewaard and Schutte "not guilty and discharged".

Source: News24

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