State questions why accused did nothing to help dying Coligny teen

More could have been done to save the life of Coligny teen Matlhomola Moshoeu, the North West High Court in Mahikeng has heard.

This was what prosecutor Moeketsi put to Phillip Schutte in court on Wednesday when he cross-examined him about his version of what transpired on April 20, 2017 – the day that Moshoeu died.

Schutte, 34, is accused of Moshoeu's murder, along with Pieter Doorewaard, 27.

Both have denied that they murdered Moshoeu. Instead, they claimed that they caught the teen and one of his peers stealing sunflowers and that he jumped off the back of their bakkie while they were on their way to the police station with him.

Schutte testified in his evidence-in-chief on Tuesday that Moshoeu was still alive when they stopped the bakkie and he saw the teen lying on the side of the road. Both of them went to the police station to report the incident, he said.

However, Moeketsi probed further during cross-examination on Wednesday, saying that there was no need for both men to drive to the police station.

"You saw that the boy was alive and laying [on] the side of the road and Accused One (Doorewaard) said you must look for help. Why did you not remain with him?"

Schutte said they had already asked two people to remain with the teen so that they could report the incident.

He asked why Schutte did not take Moshoeu to the nearest health care centre.

But Schutte maintained that "if a person is seriously injured, you are not supposed to move them".

Moeketsi was adamant and said: "nothing prevented you [from taking] the deceased to the clinic".

"I don't agree," Schutte said.  He added that he had no medical background and if he had moved the teen, he could have made matters worse.

Moeketsi then questioned why the two men saw the need to "bother other people who were minding their business to carry their burden". 

"We just asked them to remain at the scene so that we can report the incident to the police," Schutte responded.

"There was no need for both of you to go there and on that particular day, you were not the driver. Why didn't you remain?" he asked.

Schutte said he would have stayed if the two people did not want to remain with the teen.

Moeketsi also pointed out that the police only took down Doorewaard's number and not his.

"The police said that they would contact us. In my head, we were together," he responded.

Schutte testified on Wednesday that Doorewaard told him that the teen had been injured and that he bled from his mouth. 

However, Moeketsi told the court that Doorewaard did not mention this when he testified.

"Therefore, you are not in a position to conclude that the deceased was seriously injured," Moeketsi put to him.

"From what I heard from Doorewaard, I assumed he was seriously injured," Schutte responded.

The trial continues on Thursday.