It’s too late for forgiveness, says Coligny victim’s mother

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It’s too late for forgiveness, says Coligny victim’s mother

Agnes Moshoeu says her son's killers can regret what they did all they want, but 'I don’t have my child'

Journalist


The mother of the Coligny teenager says it’s “too late” for the two farmworkers convicted of his murder to ask for forgiveness.
This is despite advocate Cecile Zwiegelaaar arguing at length that Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte wanted an opportunity to send their condolences and offer support to the family.
“They can regret it as much as they want to, but where is my child?" Agnes Moshoeu told the North West High Court in Mahikeng on Wednesday afternoon.
The soft-spoken woman was testifying during aggravation of sentencing for Doorewaard and Schutte.
The pair were convicted in October 2018 of murdering Matlhomola Moshoeu.
After a lengthy trial they were also found guilty of his kidnapping, intimidation, theft and pointing a firearm.
The incident occurred on April 20 2017 when the 16-year-old Matlhomola was believed to have been thrown out of a moving bakkie.
Moshoeu told the court the death of her seventh child affected his sibling “badly”.
The family was still picking up the pieces.
For Moshoeu, forgiving Doorewaard and Schutte for the murder was not on the cards.
Zwiegelaar argued in court that the men were not given a proper opportunity to show their remorse for the incident.
She said at the time of the incident that the identities of the next of kin, particularly the parents, were not known.
“After the arrest of the accused they were detained in custody,” she told the court.
After the accused were released on bail they were advised by legal representatives to refrain from having any contact with witnesses in the case, she said.
According to her, Doorewaard and Schutte had also written to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to ask for permission to allow them to approach the Moshoeu family and express their condolences.
Zwiegelaar said the accused and their partners wanted to support the family and offer their assistance.
Moshoeu told the court that she had declined the request to meet the men and their family.
“My child is in the ground. I cannot forgive them, because I don’t have my child,” she said.
The request was to enable the accused, their mothers and other family members to express their regret for her loss.
“It is too late, it is too late for them. They didn’t even come to me the day after the incident. My child has been underground for too long,” the mother said.
Moshoeu was the third state witness to be called. Proceedings were halted on Tuesday after she broke down in the dock.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, Molefe asked Moshoeu how she “really” felt when she was informed about her son’s death.
“I was very hurt when I heard the child was killed. I’m unable to accept and be comfortable,” she told the court.
“You lost your child for a sunflower, and no approach in terms of ubuntu was made by the accused to say sorry we sympathised for your loss?” Molefe asked.
“Nobody,” she said.
On Tuesday, spiritual leader and former mayor David Celo testified that Matlhomola’s death had caused racial division, mistrust and heartache in the community.
Celo was the second state witness to testify in aggravating proceedings of Doorewaard and Schutte.
Meanwhile, legal heavyweights Barry Roux and AfriForum’s Gerrie Nel will fight the appeal proceedings for the two farmworkers.
Roux will lead the defence and Nel will provide input.
Nel, who is nicknamed the Bulldog, and Roux, the fierce lawyer of convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius, went head to head during Pistorius’s trial.
Kriel told Times Select earlier the lobby group would fund the legal battle for Doorewaard and Schutte.
“We believe, although this was a very sad incident, that these two men are not guilty of murder. That is why we are going to assist them in their appeal process,” Kriel said.
This comes after the sole witness in the case alleged he was offered R3m to lie about his testimony.
Bonakele Pakisi, whose testimony ensured that the two farmers were convicted in 2018, told SowetanLIVE he was shown a firearm and was forced to read a prepared statement to “confess” that he had lied in court.
Sunday newspaper Rapport revealed a recording in which Pakisi confessed to have lied in court in 2018.
The matter will continue on Thursday.

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