Protesters in the South African town of Coligny set properties on fire to protest the bail application granted to two men, Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, accused of killing teenager Matlhomola Moshoeu.
State prosecutors say White farmers Doorewaard, 26, and Schutte, 34, are guilty of assaulting and then killing 16-year-old Moshoeu by throwing him out of a moving vehicle on April 20th.
The pair, however, deny the charges, and claim instead that Moshoeu was apprehended as he tried to steal sunflowers from a farm. They also claim that the teen jumped out of their moving pickup truck as they drove him to a police station.
Violent protests from the town’s Black residents were soon sparked, with at least three houses torched and several White-owned shops looted.
The fire service reportedly battled to put out the flames even as police helicopters hovered around the area with residents fearing that more properties may be attacked.
Journalists who were covering the protests were also reportedly attacked by the owners of properties targeted by the rioters and accused of inciting violence by covering the events.
While Apartheid has been officially declared over in South Africa, racial tensions that are an offshoot of a system that promoted segregation on the basis of race continue to exist to this day.
by Mark Babatunde