BY KEDIBONE MOLAETSI
North West Provincial Government said it has noted the outcome of the application for a review on the bail application of the two farm workers in Coligny who are accused of killing Matlhomola Moshoeu, 16.
The North West High Court has set aside the State’s application for leave to appeal the decision of the Coligny Magistrate’s Court, which granted bail to Pieter Doorewaard (26) and Philip Schutte (34) a bail of R5 000 each.
Premier Supra Mahumapelo said: “We accept the outcome of the court judgment and will accordingly study it and explore our available options as we believe ours was a just cause.”
According to the accused, Moshoeu was stealing sunflowers on April 20 when they caught him and drove with him to the local police station.
They claimed Moshoeu allegedly jumped off their bakkie and broke his neck while some eyewitnesses claim he was allegedly pushed off the bakkie.
The death of Moseou sparked protest that left a trail of destruction in Coligny as three houses and three trucks were torched, while several shops were looted and damaged.
The argument was heard by acting Judge, Daniel Matlapeng on Thursday.
Matlapeng struck the application of the roll after some discrepancies on the application.
“The application constitutes irregular proceedings. In amplification, it was contended on behalf of the respondents that the right to appeal in terms of Section 65A of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 as amended (the CPA) is automatic if the decision appealed against is from a lower court. As a result, there is no need to apply for leave appeal.
“The applicant failed to follow the provisions of the CPA. In this respect the respondents submit that the applicant failed to follow the peremptory procedure laid down in Section 310A of the CPA. This decision therefore deals with the preliminary points raised and not the merits of the appeal,” Matlapeng said.
He further said the right to appeal against the refusal or the granting of bail is regulated by Section 65 of the CPA. Matlapeng added that Section 65A(1)(a) of the CPA provides that the attorney-General may appeal to the Superior Court having jurisdiction, against the decision of the lower court to release an accused on bail or against the imposition of a condition of bail as contemplated in Section 65 (1)(a).
“In the circumstances it would serve no purpose whatsoever for the applicant in this matter to apply for a right that automatically has ex lege. I am emboldened in this view by what was said in S v Potgieter 2000 (1) SACR 578 at 581c. For the applicant to apply for a right that it has, is not only illogical but irregular,” Matlapeng outlines.
The State will review the matter and make another application. Meanwhile the case will take place on Monday and is expected to be transferred to North West High Court.