The Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday overturned the conviction and sentence of two North West farmers who were convicted of killing a teenager in a high-profile case in Coligny, in the North West.
The two farmers, Phillip Schutte and Pieter Doorewaard, were accused of killing Matlhomola Mosweu in April 2017, after he was allegedly caught stealing sunflower heads. But they are now off the hook after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Civil rights organisation AfriForum, which funded the appeal case, has welcomed the acquittal.
“We are very thankful for the acquittal of Schutte and Doorewaard. AfriForum has said from the very beginning that the state’s only witness lied and, therefore, the organisation decided to finance the application for appeal. AfriForum has covered the full costs of the application for appeal because we believed in their innocence, and today justice was served,” said Kallie Kriel, AfriForum CEO.
In March 2019, Schutte and Doorewaard were handed down sentences of 23 and 18 years in jail respectively. In November last year they were granted R20,000 bail pending leave to appeal against their conviction and sentence.