A man accused of killing 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu in Coligny did not hear him screaming for help, the North West High Court heard on Wednesday.
“He never screamed or cried in my presence,” said murder-accused Phillip Schutte.
Mosweu died on April 20 2017, allegedly at the hands of Schutte, 34, and Pieter Doorewaard, 26. Mosweu’s death sparked violent community protests amid allegations that the youth was thrown out of a moving vehicle after the two men accused him of stealing sunflower heads from their employer’s sunflower plantation.
Prosecutor, Advocate Moeketsi Moeketsi, had asked Schutte why Mosweu would have screamed: “Mama nthuse ke a swa [mother, help me I am dying]” if Mosweu was “cooperating” with them and he had voluntarily gotten into the back of a van after he had run into the maize field.
Moeketsi said a person would call out “mama nthuse ke a swa” if he was in distress and wanted help.
“Did you tell him why must he get into the bakkie [pick-up]?” Moeketsi asked.
“We told him we were taking him to the police station,” Schutte replied.
Schutte testified that he was with his work colleague Doorewaard on April 20 2017, when they went to collect peanut samples at a field and on their way back to Coligny saw two boys picking sunflower heads at their employer Pieter Karsten’s field. Karsten is Doorewaard’s uncle.
“Pieter stopped the bakkie and asked them what were they doing. The boys dropped the sunflower heads and fled in different directions; one ran back into the sunflower field and other across the road into the maize field.”
The one who ran into the maize field was Mosweu, of Scotland informal settlement Tlhabologang near Coligny.
According to Schutte, Mosweu, also known as Faki amongst his peers, stopped about 25 metres into the maize field and freely walked back to the two men.
He got into the loading base of the bakkie, but when they reached a curve he allegedly jumped out of the moving van, Schutte testified.
“I saw movement in the dust through the left mirror and looked at the loading van and realised that the boy was not there. I screamed that the boy had jumped,” Schutte told the court.
He added that the incident happened in a split second and he concluded Mosweu had jumped.
Schutte said the two of them had not deemed it necessary for one of them to sit at the back with Mosweu as he had sat peacefully. They could not sit with him in front as the bakkie was a single cab and had no space for a third person.