Coffin accused often took videos and photos of 'thieves'

2017-08-08 17:32
The two men accused of forcing a black man into a coffin (File, Jeanette Chabalala, News24).

The two men accused of forcing a black man into a coffin (File, Jeanette Chabalala, News24).

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Middelburg - Taking videos and photographs of alleged thieves is something the two men accused of forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin do often, the High Court sitting in the Middelburg Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday. 

Willem Oosthuizen told the packed court gallery that the coffin was used before to scare off thieves. 

"We would take pictures and videos of people who steal. We keep the photos in our phones for a while," Oosthuizen testified during the seventh day of the trial. 

Oosthuizen and his co-accused Theo Jackson are facing charges of kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder and possession of an illegal firearm. 

They were granted R1 000 bail in July after reapplying for bail. 

Oosthuizen told the packed court gallery that he didn't apologise to Mlotshwa because he didn't see anything wrong with what they did. 

Emotions ran high when the two minutes video showing Victor Mlotshwa being forced into a coffin was played for the second time in court. 

Mlotshwa's mother, Lonia wept and walked out of court after watching the video. She was then comforted by those who were sitting next to her in court. 

Some members of the public also wept, while some watched the video while covering their mouths with their hands. 

"I put it to you that you were angry when Mlotshwa threatened to burn your crops and kill your family," Prosecutor Robert Molokoane told Oosthuizen. 

"I put it to you that it had nothing to do with cable theft. You only saw him in a farm and he [Mlotshwa] admits he was in a farm where he was not supposed to be."

Molokoane said it was suspicious that the video Oosthuizen took only shows the part where he admits he stole the cable. 

The first video that went viral takes only 20 seconds while the long video takes two minutes long. 

He said the reason why the pair forced Mlotshwa into a coffin was because of "your hatred for black people".

"It is not true," Oosthuizen said, adding that they would have put a white person into the coffin if caught with suspected stolen property. 

Earlier on, Oosthuizen told the court that he doesn't see his actions in the video as wrongful. 

Oosthuizen denied assaulting Mlotshwa. He also said they never tied him with cable ties. But he admitted that on the day of the incident, they took Mlotshwa against his own will. 

The matter continues on Thursday with Jackson expected to take the stand.

Read more on:    victor mlotshwa  |  middelburg  |  courts

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