18 November 2018


Witness in Coligny “sunflower” trial breaks down in court 

by: Nthusang Lefafa   date: 08 june 2018

A key witness in the Coligny “sunflower” murder trial broke into tears while testifying at the North West High Court in Mahikeng this week.
Bonakele Pakisi (28) gave a detailed account of the events that led to the death of 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu on 20 April last year. 
Employees of Rietvlei Farm in Coligny, Peter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, are currently on trial for the murder of Moshoeu, who was allegedly killed after he was caught stealing sunflower pits on their employer’s farm.
Judge Ronnie Hendricks had to postpone the proceedings for a few minutes so that the witness could calm down and compose himself. 
During his testimony, Pakisi said he was coming from town on his way to visit a Constable Molete at Scotland Informal Settlement. He then heard gunshots while he was on his way. 
“I saw Accused 1 (Peter Doorewaard) running towards a bakkie with a firearm in his possession. There was a child in the bakkie with Accused 2 (Schutte) and another man who is not appearing before the court. Schutte then came towards me and repeatedly asked what I had seen. I told them that I did not see anything,” Pakisi told the court. 
The witness said he was pointed with a firearm by Doorewaard and forced to climb on a quad bike. He was taken to the bakkie and forced to climb in the back. This is when he found Moshoeu lying on his stomach.
“Moshoue was lying on his stomach and he was bleeding through his mouth, nose and ears. I was instructed by the accused to lie on his feet and not to move. I was taken to another area where I was again asked what I had seen and I told them that I saw nothing. This is where both the accused assaulted me with their fists and I was also slapped”. 
Pakisi explained that he was taken to a remote area by the two accused where he was forced to drink a bottle of rum. He was then forced to jump a fence and get into a dam where the water reached up to his knees. 
“I pleaded with Doorewaard not to kill me inside the water. The third man then instructed Doorewaard not to shoot because people would hear the gunshots. We went out of the water and Schutte forced me to drink a beer at gun point,” the witness said. 
The suspects then proceeded with Pakisi on a gravel road in the Putfontein area. He was forced to jump off the bakkie near some gum trees.  The suspects forced him to run while both of them were firing shots behind him.
“I vomited because of the excessive alcohol intake. When I told the suspects that I am dizzy as a result of the vomiting they instructed me to eat my vomit,” he said. 
Pakisi explained that the suspects then told him to climb onto the bakkie and they stopped near a sheep farm. He was instructed to clean Moshoeu’s blood from the bakkie with a jersey and check whether he is alive.
Pakisi said he was instructed to get off the bakkie and face down. At this point one of the accused hit him with something on the neck and he passed out.
“I woke up in the afternoon and did not know where I was. I went straight home to rest. When I woke up, I went to the police station. The female officer did not want to take my case as she said I was drunk. On Saturday morning at about 3:50am, the suspects visited me at my home. Doorewaard was in possession of a firearm. They asked me who I had told about the events which had transpired and I said nobody.
“The suspects said we should meet behind FNB in Coligny on Sunday. Because I was scared I then went to the police station where I met the same female officer. She sent me to Warrant Officer (W/O) Sponkane who took a statement,” said Pakisi.
The witness said at the police station he was taken to Warrant Officer Sponkane’s office where he was instructed to sign a blank police document next to a statement he had not read. They then went to the scene of Moshoeu’s death and there was still blood that was visible. 
“Warrant Officer Sponkane said he will contact me on Monday after forensics had visited the scene. When I checked with him on Monday, he said he forgot to call and the evidence had disappeared.”
The trial continues.