A South African court on Wednesday sentenced two white farmers in the killing of a Black teenager they suspected of stealing sunflowers in a remote farming community.
Pieter Doorewaard, 28, and Phillip Schutte, 35, were sentenced to 18 and 23 years in prison respectively for murdering 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu, BBC News reported. The pair was convicted in October after being found guilty of murder, kidnapping and other charges.
Pieter Doorewaard, 28, and Phillip Schutte, 35, claimed 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu had fallen from their moving van as they drove him to the police station for allegedly stealing sunflowers. (Image courtesy of AFP) Doorewaard and Schutte claimed they caught Mosweu stealing $5 worth of sunflowers from a farm in the area and that the 16-year-old had jumped out of their moving van while they were transporting him to the police station in April 2017.
In reality, the pair had thrown the teen from the moving vehicle, causing him to break his neck. He died shortly afterward.
Mosweu’s death sparked riots and looting in the city of Coligny, about 125 miles west of Johannesburg, and fanned the flames of already simmering racial tensions between Black and white South Africans.