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News > South Africa

South Africa: 2 White Farmers Sentenced for Killing Black Teen

  • Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte found guilty of killing a teenager in Mafikeng, South Africa, Mar. 6, 2019.

    Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte found guilty of killing a teenager in Mafikeng, South Africa, Mar. 6, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 March 2019

The 15-year-old young boy was thrown from a truck after being captured and beaten.

South Africa's North West High Court Judge Ronnie Hendricks sentenced two white farmers to 18 and 23 years in prison for the killing of a 15-year-old Black teen, Matlhomola Mosweu, who was thrown from a truck after being caught stealing sunflowers in 2017.

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"Murder is undoubtedly the most serious offense that can be committed," Judge Hendricks said and added that "it can not be ignored that the community revolted as a result of this incident."

While Pieter Doorewaard was sentenced to 18 years for murder, intimidation, and kidnapping, Phillip Schutte was sentenced to 23 years for murder and other crimes.

In passing the sentences, Judge Hendricks stressed that, although the defendants did not directly plan to kill the young Mosweu, their actions were "appalling."

Mosweu's father, Saki Dingake, who had been expecting the accused to be sentenced to life in prison, said he was "unhappy" about the sentences.

"I am heartbroken," Dingake told reporters shortly after the North West High Court adjourned Wednesday, as reported by News24, a local media.

The Black teenager was murdered in April 2017 in the town of Coligny, after the two Afrikaners found the victim and another youth stealing sunflowers on their plantation. The white farmers seized Mosweu who later died when he was thrown from the Afrikaners' truck.

During the trial, Doorewaard and Schutte alleged that the teenager had jumped from the truck while they were taking him to the nearest police station.

The other teenager, who survived the farmers' capture, testified before the court that the Afrikaners had not only thrown Mosweu out of the truck, but also that he had been previously assaulted and was profusely bleeding due to the farmers' beatings.

The incident sparked intense protests in the area and heightened racial tensions in South Africa that still survive since the days of "apartheid," a regime of racial segregation which officially ended in 1994 with the first democratic elections.

Most South African farms, however, belong to the white minority and the Black population continues to denounce exploitation and racism.​​​​​​​

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