'Coffin duo' trial set to begin

2017-07-31 05:26
Coffin assault accused Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson back in court. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Coffin assault accused Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson back in court. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

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Delmas – Two men accused of forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatening to pour petrol over him will appear for the first day of their trial in the High Court in Delmas.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen were granted bail of R1 000 each on July 14 in the Middelburg Magistrate's Court, after reapplying for bail.

Magistrate Jongilizwe Dumehleli had said the Director of Public Prosecution's delay in terms of the trial had infringed upon the rights of the accused.

The pair face charges of kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder and possession of an illegal firearm.

In their affidavits, read out in court by their advocate Johan Van Wyk, the men said they had received death threats since they were arrested, necessitating the need for bail.

The incident took place near Komati power station in Mpumalanga on August 17, 2016.

Mlotshwa had noticed two Land Cruisers following him, investigating officer Constable Dimakatso Bahula had told the court. Bahula said the vehicles stopped and two men assaulted Mlotshwa and kicked him, without any explanation.

A video of the incident posted on YouTube showed one man forcing Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatening to pour petrol on him, while Mlotshwa pleaded with them to stop.

During an appearance in 2016, the pair told the court they had merely wanted to "teach Mlotshwa a lesson". They claimed their actions were "negligible" and that they did not mean any harm.

The trial is set down for July 31 to August 10. 

Read more on:    mbombela  |  racism  |  crime

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