The North West provincial government yesterday announced that it had started engaging with its legal team to appeal the decision by the Coligny Magistrate’s Court to grant bail to two men accused of the death of a 16-year-old, Matlhomola Mosweu.
Addressing angry residents of Coligny yesterday, MEC for community safety Mpho Motlhabane said the provincial government was also against the decision to grant Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte R5 000 bail each.
“We will be launching an urgent appeal and are also urging every community member to work closely with us so that we can also deal with the complaints you have raised regarding police cases that you have opened, but were never followed up on.
“The premier (Supra Mahumapelo) will be coming to Coligny on Friday to bring you up to speed with regards to some of the decisions that have been taken to address all the concerns you have raised,” he said.
However, when Motlhabane urged residents to work together with the police, irate residents said the police and white people had been shooting at them.
“How can you expect us to work with these people?” they asked.
The government officials wasted no time leaving the local sports ground where they addressed community members. Ahead of the meeting, police officers were also told they were not going to be allowed inside the sports ground.
Contrary to Monday, when two houses were set alight and another two partially burnt, the situation was calmer for the better part of yesterday. But just after lunchtime violent protests erupted again when protesters threw stones at the police, who retaliated with rubber bullets and tear gas.
The violent protests were sparked by the judgment that was delivered in court, with disgruntled residents vowing to bring the entire town to standstill.
Police officers had their hands full trying to defuse the volatile situation late on Monday night. Traffic on the busy N14 highway from Ventersdorp towards Coligny and Lichtenburg also had to be diverted as protesters were throwing stones and petrol bombs in the direction of passing motorists.