Accused in Coligny murder trial adamant that teen jumped from moving bakkie

One of the men accused of the murder of Coligny teen Matlhomola Moshoeu last year was adamant that the teen was not killed and that he jumped from a moving vehicle instead.

Phillip Schutte, 34, was testifying in the North West High Court in Mahikeng on Tuesday afternoon and told the court that he and co-accused Pieter Doorewaard, 27, went to a farm in Rietvlei to fetch peanut samples on the morning of April 20, 2017.

They loaded the peanut samples into the bakkie and proceeded into the direction of Coligny.

When they approached the sunflower fields, they saw two boys picking sunflowers.

Schutte said vehicles could not drive into the sunflower fields because there was a ditch.

He said Doorewaard pulled off on the right side of the road and asked them what they were doing.   

"The two boys hung their heads and ran into different directions. One boy ran back into the sunflower fields and the deceased (Moshoeu) ran across the road into a maize field.

"Pieter (Doorewaard) got out and picked up the sunflower heads and put them into the bakkie. He got back into the bakkie and we drove towards the maize fields," he told the court.

15-year-old Moshoeu stood about 20 to 25 metres in the fields.

ALSO READ: Coligny teen died of aspiration – defence medical expert testifies

They called him and told him to get onto the back of the bakkie, which he did.

According to Schutte, the teen did not appear scared or frightened.

They turned the bakkie around and headed back in the direction of Lichtenburg.

His advocate Pieter Smit asked him: "Why did you not climb on the back of the bakkie with the boy?"

"I didn't see the need for me to do so. He walked backed to us on his own and I didn't think that he would run away. It was a single cab bakkie and there was no space for him to sit in front with us," he replied.

They couldn't spot the second boy and turned around to head back to Coligny.

On their way, Schutte saw "dust at/ the back of the bakkie from the left mirror, he said.

He claimed they had been travelling at a speed of about 60km/h. They turned back immediately and saw Moshoeu in the road. He had been injured.

"There were no sudden movements on the bakkie that could [make] him to fall off. The only logical thing that I could think of is that he jumped."

None of the two men had emergency numbers on their cellphones and asked a man and woman to remain with the teen before they headed to the police station and reported the incident.  

"They (police) called a bakkie on the radio and asked them to go to the scene and they took Doorewaard's details and would also phone an ambulance."

Police told them they could leave and that they would be contacted if they were needed.

Smit told Schutte that a key state witness Bonakele Pakisi, previously told the court that he witnessed Moshoeu being thrown from a moving vehicle and that Schutte had a firearm.

"What is your comment on this?"

Schutte responded that he had not met Pakisi before the inspection in loco.

The case continues on Wednesday.