28 January 2019

South Africa: Coligny Murder Case - AfriForum to Help Convicted Men After Reports That Witness 'Lied'

Photo: South African Tourism/Flickr
Coligny, North West, South Africa (file photo).

Lobby group AfriForum has decided to help pay for the legal costs of the two men who were found guilty of murdering a teenage boy in Coligny, its CEO Kallie Kriel told News24 on Monday.

"It has now become very clear that the only eyewitness in this case blatantly lied, and he helped to destroy the lives of two young men, he also polarised our whole community," Kriel said before sentencing proceedings began for the two men in the North West High Court on Monday.

"What we need to make sure is that justice is done, that people don't get to sit in jail if they are innocent but also that the liar is held accountable," he said.

Bonakele Pakisi, the only eyewitness in the Coligny murder trial and who testified that he saw two white men throw Matlhomola Moshoeu, 16, from a bakkie on April 20, 2017, reportedly admitted that he lied to the court, according to Rapport.

The newspaper reported that it was in possession of a recording in which Pakisi confessed to a preacher and an attorney.

Last week, the Sowetan said Pakisi had told the newspaper that one of the convicted killers' employers allegedly offered him R3m to change his statement.

Pakisi reportedly said that he was shown a firearm and forced to read a prepared statement "confessing" to having lied in court.

Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte were found guilty of murder, kidnapping, intimidation, theft, and pointing a firearm in November 2018.

The defence had argued that Pakisi's testimony was not credible because of contradictions in his statements.

In handing down judgment Judge Ronnie Hendricks said: "I am satisfied that the evidence of Mr Pakisi is honest, truthful and reliable."

Hendricks said there was no practical reason why Pakisi would have invented the evidence given as he remembered "each and every scene" and was able to describe what had happened at the various scenes.

Three witnesses are expected to testify in aggravation of sentence.

Source: News24

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