In a statement on Facebook on Wednesday, the whites-only party Front National followed up on an earlier press release from Monday in which it complained that the media has been biased in its reporting against the two men accused of causing the death of a black teenager in Coligny, North West.
Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte allegedly caught 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu stealing sunflowers on April 20.
The farmers were accused of throwing a black teen off their bakkie after allegedly catching him trying to steal from them. He died of a broken neck, his father said. The farmers said that the teenager jumped from the moving vehicle and died in the accident while trying to escape being taken to the police station.
Residents of the informal settlement he came from said one was the accused allegedly previously killed two people, the recent being last year.
Front National now allege that the media have ignored the judge’s “true judgment” in the bail application, and that this was motivated by prejudice.
They released the judge’s full verdict in the matter on Wednesday and reproduced it on Facebook so that “every citizen in his or her right mind can make up their own conclusions”.
However, the ruling they refer to appears somewhat confusing, as the magistrate finds in paragraph 35 that “it is indeed correct that the death of the deceased has in fact divided the community of Coligny along the racial line as evident from the two petitions that were submitted in this Court. There have been indeed protests that led to looting and destruction of property.”
However, the ruling then goes on to find: “The evidence as presented in Court could not clearly draw a clear line as to whether this public disorder could be attributed to the death of the deceased or service delivery, bearing in mind that there were similar incidents across the Ditsobotla Local Municipality which includes Itsoseng, Lichtenburg and Bakerville.”
Front National specifically also referred to other paragraphs in the judgment as showing that reporting had been skewed. They appear to have taken strong issue with the fact that the media have reported that the violence in Coligny was caused by the death of the teenager, as it could also have been caused by “service delivery”.
“Front National specifically refers to 11 as to the State witnesses Kgorane, Modisane and Serfontein who tried to convince the court that the unrest was caused by the so-called ‘murder’, and the judge’s finding in 35 THAT SIMILAR ACTIONS OCCURRED ELSEWHERE AS WELL.
“Front National also point out that both accused denied the testimony of the so-called witness in 18; and the Judge’s remarks on that in 32 and 33.”
They said they intended to “lodge a complaint against three news agencies, the premier of North West and the leader of the Democratic Alliance [Mmusi Maimane] with the Press Ombudsman as well as the Human Rights Commission for inciting and staging violence in Coligny (as witnessed at the burning house in Coligny where a reporter interfered with the rescue operation).”
Front National was formed in late 2013 and contested the 2014 national elections without winning a seat. It promotes secession and Afrikaner self-determination. It says it strikes no distinction between English-speaking whites and Afrikaners.