Coffin case duo win appeal to reduce their sentences

They were found guilty in 2017 and given heavy sentences for attempted murder, kidnapping and assault by the High Court sitting in Middelburg.

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Mangaung has reportedly amended the finding guilty and sentencing of Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson.

News24 reports that court papers dated 2 December 2019 show the appeal court adjusted the two’s sentences and conviction, maintaining assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and kidnapping.

The conviction of attempted murder and intimidation were set aside and will now see both men’s sentences reduced to 5 years.

They were sentenced in the infamous ‘coffin case’ on 27 October 2017 having been arrested in November 2016 after the video of them forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin surfaced on social media and caused public outcry.

Mlotshwa was accused by the two farmers of trespassing and stealing on the farm before being attacked and forced into a coffin, while being told they wanted to bury him alive or burn him.

ALSO SEE: Attack on Victor Mlotshwa was “inhumane, disgusting and caused racial tensions,” Judge

The Middelburg police acted and arrested both Oosthuizen and Jackson – and charged them.

 One of them got 11 years and the other 14 years in prison.

Oosthuizen was actually sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, five of which was suspended for 8 years, which translated it to the years he had to spend in jail being 11 years.

Jackson got a 19-year jail term, with five years suspended, and gave him an effective 14 years behind bars.

SEE ALSO: Coffin assault racists get heavy sentence in Middelburg

The Tshwane High Court sitting in Middelburg dismissed their application to appeal the sentences, saying the matter was too serious.

They then went to the Supreme Court of Appeal where they won the argument to have some elements of the case reviewed.

The appeal court also maintained the conviction of defeating the ends of justice for Jackson after he burnt the coffin that was to be used as evidence in court.

In her ruling, appeal court Judge Yvonne Mbata ordered that both men’s sentences be reduced to 5 years.

 “The result is that both appellants will be sentenced to an effective five years’ imprisonment,” she said, after saying that other sentences will run concurrently with the main assault one.

(edited by MLM)

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Pro Khoza reveals new passion in farming 

He says he decided to quit politics outright to “choose peace”.

Former EFF MP Pro Khoza this week revealed he is done with politics and will now rather prefer what benefits him and his immediate ones as he finds new greener pastures in farming.

Khoza said it doesn’t matter what people say. He said he had to quit positions of political power to focus somewhere else.

He said knowledge in farming is key now as well as its technological advancements which “many of our people are not aware of”.

Khoza took the 013NEWS reporter to the communal farming project in the Badplaas area, where soya beans, wheat and mealies are produced.

He has partnered in the hundreds of hectares farming project in the area together with other community groups and land claimants. The project brings white farmers who rent the idle land from the group of the families who claimed it and then the white farmers in return bring other local groupings to come partner and be trained in how to turn the land green while making money from its fertility.

Pro Khoza reveals new passion in farming

Badplaas-based politician and former member of Parliament Pro ‘Skoro’ Khoza who says his new passion in farming is set to make a real change in his life

The experienced white farmers will then leave the local groupings to continue making the land green.

The project is supported by the Land Bank.

He said farming was very difficult and required “passion and love for all the stages and processes”. 

Khoza said in farming you don’t just think about the money you make but also the entire food security chain of South Africa.

ALSO RELATED: Pro Khoza asks to be excused from Mpumalanga EFF Command Team leadership – Collen Sedibe

“The process involves time, chemicals and machines and it’s a very delicate process,” Khoza told 013NEWS.

“Myself I’m still new here and I love it. I’ve watched a first process of pre-planting and post-planting. Now we are heading to pre-harvest and post-harvest and I honestly think if our people can be brought closer to this type of business we can work towards ending poverty,” he said.

Pro Khoza reveals new passion in farming

The communal farming project just north of Badplaas produces soya beans and mealies

ALSO SEE: Farming is long process, needs passion – Vusi Shongwe

Khoza, a popular local leader who is also involved with the mobilisation of locals to get a stake at billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s Nkomati Nickel Mine between Machadodorp and Badplaas, says “if I stick with those with knowledge in farming I’m with the future of South Africa”.

Pro Khoza reveals new passion in farming

The communal project in Groetskop, Badplaas

He said he had decided to leave politics completely to cater for those who are closest to him – his wife, mom, brothers and kids, make a success from a business currently hard to tap and become a farmer once and for all.

In January 2018, Skoro was co-opted to come serve as additional member of SANCO Mpumalanga as was Belfast-based leader Hamzer Ngwenya who also got co-opted to the provincial highest decision-making body.

Khoza said politics has been a pain to his life, with people insulting his children, friends and relatives “over issues that can be solved but the community itself coming back to my personal life and affecting those closer to me,” Khoza told this paper.

He said his dream had always been to be a lawyer and assist people get injustice in the courts. Raised from a struggling community of rural dwellers, the 43-year-old Khoza struggled through the journey of life mostly as a waiter in restaurants before Badplaas residents called for him to serve the area as a ward councillor in 2006.

He was an ANC member then and afterwards Khoza grasped an opportunity provided by EFF leader Julius Malema in 2013 when he left the ANC to form his Economic Freedom Fighters, and where Khoza became one of the key EFF leaders in the province.

Pro Khoza reveals new passion in farming

Pro Khoza

“I think that the issue of young people or future South Africans accessing these farming opportunities is one of the issues we must solve as it is far away from them and the knowledge they need to do agricultural activities is very limited. I think everybody can do farming is just that we all need to make it our everyday life and be accustomed with it.”

He said moving forward a school dedicated to this type of learning will have to be established locally and he was more than willing to fight for such a school to be established to assist with farming knowledge and skills.

(edited by ZK)

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Alliance partners ordered not to partake in Mpumalanga ANC battles

Unionists and communists say they will watch from afar while their comrades in the ANC fight to get elected at an upcoming elective conference.

Mpumalanga’s alliance partners won’t partake or pronounce the names of people in ANC provincial battles after an order not to do so was delivered to comrades, this paper has learnt.

The order which follows “engagements and resolution” seems to be influenced by the provincial SACP who sources say is a party ‘tired’ of fighting ANC battles and this alliance partner will now rather mind its own socialist ideological business than “engaging on the factional battle lines of the ANC”.

013NEWS learnt from high ranking alliance leaders how they have observed the provincial battles in Mpumalanga and the decision to support “nobody but everyone” when a 13th congress is held to elect DD Mabuza’s successor.

It was a decision supported by “scientific analysis”, SACP leaders said, and had to be “communicated down to branches” where members will see for themselves that the involvement in ANC battles affects their relations with the ANC.

The young communist league (YCL) in Mpumalanga said a decision by its mother-body SACP to not partake in any of the current ANC provincial “factional battles” was taken after the realisation that both Premier Refilwe Tsipane and ANC acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu were both actually deputy president DD Mabuza’s candidates.

YCL provincial secretary Themba ‘Ntshebe’ Ntimane said by virtue of supporting any of the two “you are supporting Mabuza” and that as communists they won’t do.

Alliance partners ordered not to partake in Mpumalanga ANC battles

Alliance partners in Mpumalanga refuse to support influential national assistant leader DD Mabuza in any of his calculated moves to maintain power

Ntimane addressed the 8th congress of the Gert Sibande YCL the past weekend – a region where regional ANC chairperson Muzi Chirwa bids to be the next Mpumalanga ANC provincial secretary and where his lobbyists are hard at work to get him to win the hearts of averyone.

ALSO SEE: “I’m not THAT ambitious to lead, I’m a footsoldier here” – Muzi Chirwa

Ntimane poured cold water on what he said were Mabuza’s candidates gunning for the chairpersonship that became vacant when he got elected deputy president in Nasrec on 18 December 2017.

Alliance partners ordered not to partake in Mpumalanga ANC battles

YCL Mpumalanga leader Themba Ntimane who says they are refraining from being caught in ANC battles

Ntimane said he sits in the SACP’s highest decision making body, the PEC and PWC, and they have resolved that they “are not going to support any of the factions” but will “support everyone” and not take sides.

He explained to the delegates how in the past 10 years the SACP suffered severe blows in their relations with the ANC Mpumalanga for choosing candidates in the lead up to ANC conferences and this time they are not going to do it.

He said they will rather stick with the branches and identify leaders who will have to “swell ANC ranks” and be supported to serve.

He told the YCL delegates at Ermelo’s Dona Bella conference centre on 23 November 2019 that they are not interested in both Ndlovu and Tsipane as both are not SACP members.

Ntimane said they didn’t understand the reasons under which they must “continue to solve ANC problems” and support people who are not even communists in the first place.

Alliance partners ordered not to partake in Mpumalanga ANC battles

ANC provincial acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu who addressed the SACP provincial congress both in 2016 and 2019

Leaders of SACP and Cosatu say they plan to support everyone who wants to lead and respect alliance partners.

ALSO SEE: I won’t tell you who I support, Vusi Shongwe

“These comrades [Ndlovu and Tsipane] are people of DD Mabuza and do not belong in our structures as communists,” said Ntimane.

“So when we begin to take side between Mandla and Refilwe we are basically saying ‘we support DD’ because both are DD’s candidates,” Ntimane told the gathering.

ALSO RELATED: SANCO warns of “rising Mpumalanga ANC factions”

Mpumalanga Nehawu leader Welcome Mnisi said they won’t talk because they have taken a decision not to as PEC. He said they are only permitted to as individual ANC members.

But SANCO said they have a view and will support Tsipane to take over as ANC provincial chairperson

Provincial spokesman Sfiso Zulu said they have taken the decision to work with Tsipane after they realised that she was a humble woman and was willing to work towards solving community issues.

“Last month we had a PEC meeting in Belfast and our view was that based on the current relations we have with the Premier members of SANCO who are ANC members should support her and that should happen on their mandates as branches and community members,” Zulu said.

He added as SANCO provincial leadership they will not do anything to force members who to support but “at their respective branches they have the space to see who they must support”.

“There are two slates in the province, Comrade Mandla and Refilwe, and members have right to choose who they want but the view we had in that PEC meeting was that based on the relationship we have with Tsipane our members should support her,” said Zulu.

(edited by ZK)

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Muzi Chirwa’s availability is no ‘do or die’

He said in an ANC leadership race the membership choose who they want to take charge.

Gert Sibande ANC leader Muzi Chirwa has said that his availability to contest in a provincial race will be determined by one of two things but it also won’t be “a do or die” as he is “not that ambitious” to go and occupy a provincial seat.

He said elective battles in the ANC come and go and what was always important for leaders is to enter the difficult phase of taking care of all the emotional reactions that the outcomes of the congress will bring and make sure everybody rallies behind the newly elected leadership.

Chirwa said he doesn’t believe in positions more than he believes in “being a foot-soldier of the ANC” and wants the processes to be opened up to anybody so that “the outcomes accommodate all of us and we unite behind the leadership and the vision of the ANC”.

He told 013NEWS this week that he believes acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu “can”.

“Comrade Mandla can,” Chirwa said Monday morning 25 November 2019 when speaking to the reporter.

He said his Gert Sibande district municipality, where he serves as mayor and a region where he is said to be running a group of ANC councillors zealous to return themselves to positions in 2021’s local government elections, has been “performing good and is one of the best performing municipalities countrywide”.

He said recently obtained clean audits were not just “clean on paper, we have completed real projects on the ground”.

ALSO RELATED: Vusi Shongwe wont reveal his congress preference

Chirwa is listed as the provincial secretary on a slate that wants Ndlovu to succeed deputy president DD Mabuza as well as Nkangala leader Speedy Mashilo who they want as deputy chairman and acting secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali to retain her post of deputy secretary.

Muzi Chirwa's availability is no 'do or die'

Gert Sibande ANC chairperson and district mayor Muzi Chirwa who is mentioned in a slate of acting provincial leader Mandla Ndlovu that also wants Piennar strongman Mandla Msibi as treasurer

Chirwa said the ANC was not about positions and his availability will be determined inside conference where “I will say one of two things. It’s either I will say I accept the nomination or decline the nomination. I will say one of the two things, so that’s why I’m saying only the branches will say who will win and whoever wins all of us we will rally behind that leader as we did when we were going to Nasrec where we supported NDZ but now all of us are rallying behind President Cyril Ramaphosa”.

He described Ndlovu as someone who is “not amenable to being captured

ALSO SEE: Lindiwe Ntshalintshali disappointed at ANC DC findings

“If comrade Mandla can be afforded an opportunity. Very humble, sober and not amenable to being captured. The problem is when you are captured and that’s where things start to go wrong”.

Meanwhile, Ndlovu is reportedly saying that he will only indicate his availability later.

“The only time that I will be asked that question will be in the conference after nominations when everybody will be asked whether they accept the nomination or not,” said Ndlovu.

(edited by ZK)

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Thabang Mathebula plans to fight SASCO “propaganda” in court

He believes the attack on his character occurs unfairly and should be stopped lest it becomes organisational culture.

One of Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane’s most important lobbyists and Nkangala ANCYL secretary Thabang Mathebula has said he plans to wrestle with his political rivals in the region while also fighting what he says was a SASCO “propaganda” distributed on social media by leaders to discredit his character and alleging things he is not capable of.

He said a lot of people know that he is not capable of violence or the instruction of his followers to use violence and that he was the kind of a humble person who would rather prefer debates than physical fights.

Mathebula speaks while divisions ravage the Nkangala ANC region and leader Speedy Mashilo plays his cards closer to his chest amid tensions between his supporters and that of Tsipane who also hails from the Nkangala region ahead of the party’s 13th provincial conference. 

A charismatic leader of the ANCYL Nkangala, Mathebula is one of Tsipane’s most important lobbyists in that region and their camp is backed by deputy president DD Mabuza. 

His “level of immaturity”  and “unruly behaviour” was lambasted by the SASCO Nkangala two weeks ago in a press statement released to condemn a disruption of the student body’s elective conference on 16 November 2019 – allegedly by Mathebula and comrades opposed to acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu’s chairpersonship ambition in the upcoming 13th provincial conference.

Mathebula said he would challenge each and every line written on that SASCO statement – and plans to drag all those who released the statement to court where they will have to prove inside a court of law how on the night of 15 November he went to the Lilly Villa guest house in eMalahleni and disrupted a planned student elective congress.

The SA student congress or SASCO in short said they sat as planned at the venue on that night, hoping to elect a new leadership that would fight student battles after a period of not having an elected SASCO structure in Nkangala.

Regional secretary Skhumbuzo Phangisa in the statement said while they were receiving a political report from their task team, “we saw a mob of about 25 people who were not part of the invited delegation making noise outside the venue of the congress”. 

“Demanding a forceful entry to the congress venue, the PEC deployees disapproved. 

“The mob was led by the regional secretary of ANCYL in Nkangala fighter (sic) Thabang Mathebula, who actively led engagements representing the mob accusing the RTT of being biased to invitations, he further made an ultimatum demanding that all his mob be part of congress or the congress will collapse,” said Phangisa.

Thabang Mathebula plans to fight SASCO

Nkangala ANCYL secretary Thabang Mathebula who is currently consulting legal people about possibilities of him laying harassment charges against his comrades to force them to come account for the “the propaganda they released in that statement”

Phangisa alleged that when Mathebula’s demand for the mob to form part of the conference the situation got “to a point where he instructed his mob to use pepper spray in the congress venue”.

“This disturbed the presidium and we adjourned for a period of 3 hours,” the press statement said.

SEE ALSO: Character assassination not allowed in ANC race

Mathebula said everything mentioned in the statement, including circulating WhatsApp screenshots of him seemingly saying he was working for Tsipane when allegedly disrupting the SASCO congress, were not true.

He said as he approaches the eMalahleni Magistrates Court he wants “to expose lies propaganda, distortion and harassment”.

“The lie about me must be exposed and even themselves those comrades who released the statement they know that they are lying.

“I can see that there is a very strong campaign to damage my name and to destroy my reputation as well as my character so that when people view and look at me they see a very different person than the person they know. I want to put an end to that,” he said.

“Even themselves know, deep down inside their consciousness they know it’s not true. The picture they are painting about me over the social media is pure lies. I do not have the capacity or capabilities to disrupt any meeting and even those who were once close to me they know that I can never do that, they might disagree now because of the different views we are having for the conference but they know I can’t,” he said.

SASCO also said Mathebula further engaged the owners and the management of the venue to kick them out of it as it was seen as having supporters of acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu.

ALSO RELATED: Refilwe Tsipane vs Mandla Ndlovu battle goes to congress

SASCO has also asked the ANC Nkangala to look at the matter and were also of the view that the ANCYL too must “address and provide necessary discipline to the regional secretary”.

Meanwhile, a case of assault is being investigated by the eMalahleni police after the alleged use of a pepper spray to attack treasurer Nompie Mashaba.

But Mathebula on the other hand intends to apply for a protection order against a string of SASCO leaders, so it forces them to come answer about the “lies” they distributed in the press statement.

(edited by ZK)

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