Coffin assault racists get heavy sentence in Middelburg 

The two coffin assault racists were found guilty of the kidnapping, intimidation, attempted murder and the assault of Victor Mlotshwa.

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson have been slapped with heavy sentences, one of them getting 11 years and the other 14 years imprisonment, by the high court sitting in Middelburg.

Oosthuizen got 11 years while Jackson, the man who brought the coffin, was slapped with 14 years.

Political parties welcomed the sentencing of the men.

SEE ALSO: Coffin racists told Victor ‘if you run we will shoot you’

They were arrested last year November after a video clip in which they forced Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin case went viral on social networks.

Mlotshwa had been found passing through a farm outside Middelburg where the two white men worked and chased him with their bakkies.

When they found him, they accused him of being one of the people who steal from the farm, beatingnhim up and threatening to bury him alive.

Groups organised by the ANCYL and DA demonstrated outside the Middelburg magistrates court in support of Mlotshwa on Friday morning.

(edited by MLM)

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DA welcomes guilty verdict in coffin case

The two men were found guilty of kidnapping, assaulting and attempting to kill Victor Mlotshwa.

The Democratic Alliance in the Mpumalanga province has welcomed the guilty verdict handed down in the case against Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen by the Tshwane high court sitting in Middelburg last Friday.

The DA’s Jane Sithole said both the men showed no remorse throughout the duration of the trial for assaulting Mlotshwa.

“This verdict sends a strong message that racism in any shape or form will not be tolerated in South Africa,” she said.

“It also once again highlights the need for rural safety units to be reinstated for the protection of all those living in outlying areas,” Sithole said in a statement.

“The DA believes that we must strive to build a society that is free of conflict and fear and that all South Africans must stand up against racial hatred,” she said.

Oosthuizen and Jackson were convicted on Friday (25 Aug 2017) of the attempted murder, kidnap and assault stemming from the 2016 incident that was caught on a video clip and went viral on the social networks.

SEE ALSO: Coffin racists told Victor Mlotshwa ‘if you run we’ll shoot you’

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Coffin racists told Victor ‘if you run we’ll shoot you’

Victor Mlotshwa took the stand at the high court sitting in the Middelburg Magistrates Court.

The two white men who are up for the kidnapping, intimidation, assault and attempted murder of Victor Mlotshwa threatened that if he ran they would take out guns and shoot him.

“The situation was painful. I was scared, shivering and crying,” Mlotshwa told the court.

“I was in a difficult situation and I pleaded with them not to do what they wanted to do.

“I was under the impression that they wanted to kill me. I just want to say the situation was painful,” he said sitting in the witness box.

Mlotshwa was testifying for the first time in the third day of trial.

He told the court that his mother had sent him to Middelburg to buy groceries when he came across a bakkie on 17 August 2017.

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He said he used a foot-path as a way to reach to Middelburg faster and one of the men approached him while driving a bakkie.

When he tried to run away, another bakkie came.

He said both Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen chased, caught him and tied him up to one of the bakkies before being kicked up.

He said they told him if he ran they would shoot him down.

Jackson and Oosthuizen were arrested in November 2016 after the incident in which they forced Mlotshwa into a coffin went viral on social networks.

The incident happened on a farm near the Komati power station outside Middelburg.

The court has heard that the incident took place in August 2016 and not in September 2016.

Both Oosthuizen and Jackson are out on a R1,000 bail each.

SEE ALSO: First witness takes stand in coffin case

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First witness takes stand in coffin assault case

A first witness has been called by the state to come testify in the coffin assault case.

The employer of one of the accused in the assault of Victor Mlotshwa said the foot-path on which Mlotshwa was stopped and confronted is used by a number of people without permission but as farm-owners they often have problems when people use it to pass to their houses because of the issue of theft.

“We have a problem with it,” Johannes de Beer told the Delmas high court.

“But we don’t confront people for using it because it happens all the time,” he said.

He told the court that the coffin used by Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins in the video clip was bought by his father some time ago and was kept in a store-room.

He said when he learnt through the social media that his employee, Martins, had used it to assault and force Mlotshwa inside, he fumed and confronted him.

“I confronted him about the incident and told him to take that coffin because it’s now his own,” he said.

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“I also told him to go and hand himself over, but did not say where and he left the job after that but I don’t know whether he went to hand himself over to the police or what,” de Beer told the court on Monday.

“My father bought two coffins and a man who worked on the farm used another one to bury his family member. The other one was kept in the store room,” he said.

The trial will continue on 10 August 2017.

Oosthuizen and Martins were arrested in November 2016 for allegedly assaulting Mlotshwa and forcing him into a coffin on a farm near Middelburg.

The two men are charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, intimidation and assault and are out on a R1,000 bail each.

Their arrests came after the incident, captured on a cellphone video went viral on the social media.

They abandoned their bail applications on 16 November 2016 after they were informed the incident had angered many people but returned on 14 July 2017 to ask the court to reconsider granting them bail.

Groups from the ANCYL, EFF and DA demonstrated outside court throughout the day on Monday as the men were making their appearance.

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Coffin racists re-apply for bail

In a 20-second video, the accused are seen forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin, one of them threatening to pour petrol on him.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen are on Friday back in the Middelburg Magistrates court to re-apply for bail.

The two have been behind bars since late last year after they abandoned their bail application, saying they were fearing for their lives after the incident caused mass demonstrations outside court by major South African political parties.

But later on they approached the court to ask it to grant them bail but then the bail application this time was denied.

RELATED: Coffin racists may not spend Christmas in jail

An investigating officer told the Middelburg Magistrates Court during their bail application appearance last year that on 17 August 2016 Mlotshwa noticed two Land Cruisers following him while he was walking at the JM de Beer Boerdery near the Komati power station And when he stopped the two men got out of the cars and assaulted him, threatening to burn or burry him alive.

They face charges of kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm as well as attempted murder.

(edited by MLM)

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