Coligny is a small farming town in the North West province of South Africa. It was a typical sleepy town, shared by its mostly white residents and the black residents of the neighbouring township of Tlhabologang. On April 20, 2017, two white men allegedly caught 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu stealing sunflowers on a farm. They claimed they were driving him to the local police station when he allegedly jumped off their bakkie and broke his neck. An eyewitness claims Matlhomola was pushed. Many residents believed the latter. On that day, everything in Coligny changed.
News24 visited Coligny in the wake of the incident, when resultant violent protests threatened to split the town along racial lines. We spoke to community members from both sides of the socio-economic divide and heard personal accounts of how they saw the tension playing out. We also got a first-hand perspective on living in a town where neighbours treat each other as strangers, and the community’s wealth sits in the hands of a few.
Watch the full documentary below.
The two murder accused, who were released on R5 000 bail in May, are at the centre of an ongoing case.
Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Philip Schutte, 34, accused of killing 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu will go on trial in March 2018. The trial will sit for two weeks – between March 19 and 23, and again between March 26 and 30.
News24 will continue to cover the trial and monitor the situation.