First State witness takes the stand in 'coffin duo' trial

2017-07-31 15:16
Victor Mlotshwa (Thapelo Maphakela, Netwerk24)

Victor Mlotshwa (Thapelo Maphakela, Netwerk24)

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Delmas - Farm owner Johannes Mattheus de Beer who employed Theo Jackson, an accused in the coffin case, testified that the coffin in which Victor Mlotshwa was forced into was purchased by his father to be used by employees to bury their family members.

The High Court sitting in the Delmas Magistrate's Court in Mpumalanga on Monday heard that De Beer's father bought two coffins, one of which was used by an employee to bury a deceased relative and the other which was stored away and subsequently used to force Mlotshwa in.

De Beer said he first learnt about the incident which occurred in August 2016 via social media and the news. He said he told Jackson that he should hand himself over.

LIVE: First State witness takes the stand in 'coffin duo' trial

De Beer also testified that he told Jackson the coffin was now his as he wanted nothing to do with it. He also said he was heart-sore when he learnt about what happened to Mlotshwa.

Mlotshwa was allegedly walking on a footpath through De Beer's farm when he was confronted by accused Willem Oosthuizen who stopped him and told Mlotshwa that he didn't want  a "k***" on his farm.

Charges

De Beer testified that he knew about the footpath, that people had used the footpath since he bought the farm and that he did not approve of the use of the footpath as it brought about theft.

He said, however, that not all people using the footpath were confronted.

Earlier on Monday, both pleaded not guilty to all charges and offer certain admissions which included that they both allege Mlotshwa was found trespassing and in possession of suspected stolen property identified as copper cable.

The charges that both accused face include possessing an unlicensed firearm, kidnapping, intimidation, defeating the ends of justice, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, and attempted murder.

Both accused, who are foremen on different farms in Middelburg, said after they arrested Mlotshwa they informed him that they would take him to the police.

Mlotshwa then allegedly threatened to burn down the farms crops and murder the wives and children of both accused.

Both accused made the admission that this was when they decided to not take Mlotshwa to the police and instead took him to a remote area in order to "convince" Mlotshwa not to go through with the threats.

This is where they admit that they forced him into a coffin and threatened him.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  racism  |  crime

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