We have received death threats in jail, coffin assault duo tells court

2017-07-14 12:55
Coffin assault accused Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson previously in court for hail hearing.  (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Coffin assault accused Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson previously in court for hail hearing. (Lerato Sejake, News24)

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Middleburg - The two men who allegedly forced Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatened to pour petrol over him have received death threats while in prison, the Middelburg Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen were reapplying for bail on Friday morning. 

The court gallery was packed with members of the public and journalists. From the first day the matter was heard in court, political parties have staged protests outside the venue. However, the demonstrations have come to a complete halt. 

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

In their affidavits, read out in court by their lawyer Advocate Johan Van Wyk, the men said they witnessed several attacks by "hardened criminals" on other inmates. 

"We have received death threats while incarcerated in prison, and the prison authorities had to move some prisoners to other sections in order to keep us safe." 

They also said since the State's investigations were finalised, they would not interfere with witnesses. 

In his affidavit, Oosthuizen told the court that his wife and two minor children depended on handouts to support themselves. 

He said he had arranged to move from Middelburg to Potchefstroom, where he believed he would be safer. 

Meanwhile, Jackson said his wife had sold their livestock as well as "my expensive, specially-bred bloodhounds, partly because she did not earn enough to feed them and partly to earn extra money to support our three kids". 

The pair said they would be able to afford R 1000 bail each. 

'Negligible' actions

During their appearance late in 2016, the pair told the court they merely wanted to teach Mlotshwa a lesson.

They claimed their actions were "negligible" and that they did not mean any harm.

The assault took place at the JM de Beer Boerdery, near the Komati power station in Mpumalanga.

On August 17 last year, Mlotshwa noticed two Land Cruisers following him, investigating officer Constable Dimakatso Bahula previously told the court.

Bahula said the vehicles stopped and two men assaulted Mlotshwa and kicked him, without any explanation.

In a 20-second video of the incident, which was posted on YouTube, one man, speaking in Afrikaans, forces Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatens to pour petrol on him as Mlotshwa screamed and pleaded with him.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  racism  |  crime

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