'Coligny eyewitness lied about race attack' - report
The only eyewitness in the infamous Coligny murder trial against two white men convicted for throwing a teenager from a bakkie has apparently admitted he lied, according to a report in the Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport.
The newspaper said it had access to a recording where Bonakele Pakisi says he lied when he testified against Pieter Doorewaard, 27, and Phillip Schutte, 34, who will soon be sentenced for the murder of Matlhomola Moshoeu, 16, in April 2017.
His killing plunged the North West town into turmoil, with racial tensions causing chaos. Shops were plundered and buildings set alight after Moshoeu was caught and killed by the two white men for stealing sunflowers.
But now a preacher from a town in Mahikeng, Paul Morule, has told Rapport that Pakisi had admitted to him he had lied and that he could no longer stay silent about it.
Morule is employed by Pieter Karsten, who is the uncle of Doorewaard, one of the convicted men.
"I am a man of God and I cannot allow two innocent people to go to jail for murder," he was quoted as saying.
He said he had met Pakisi through his aunt who lived in Coligny and the two had struck up a friendship.
"I was not there when the incident happened. I did not see anything," Pakisi apparently said in a recording made by Morule.
But approached by Rapport newspaper for comment, Pakisi said the recording was a set-up by people trying to prove the two men's innocence.
Afriforum said in a statement on Sunday it would offer legal aid to the two convicted men who will be sentenced this week.