One of the 'coffin case' convicts out on parole, second to be released 'soon' - report

accreditation
Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen are seen during their appearance at the High Court sitting at Middelburg Magistrate’s Court.
Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen are seen during their appearance at the High Court sitting at Middelburg Magistrate’s Court.
Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24

One of the men convicted in the so-called Mpumalanga "coffin case" has been released on parole after spending two-and-a-half years behind bars.

According to a Netwerk24 report, Theo Jackson was released on Wednesday.

In addition, William Oosthuizen, who was also convicted in the case, has been granted parole but has not yet been released, attorney Marius Coetzee told Netwerk24.

READ | 'Coffin case' pair's prison sentences cut to 5 years after SCA ruling

The pair was tried in the circuit court in Middelburg when a video surfaced of them forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin after accusing him of trespassing and theft, News24 reported. 

They threatened to burn Mlotshwa, who denied stealing anything, alive.

Mlotshwa said the two attacked him while hitchhiking.

Both denied the allegations at the time.

The pair was convicted of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, kidnapping, attempted murder, intimidation and defeating the ends of justice in 2016.

Oosthuizen was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment and Jackson to 14 years.

Conviction amended

But in December last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) amended their convictions and sentences, setting aside their attempted murder and intimidation convictions.

According to court papers dated December 2, the SCA found the pair guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and kidnapping, but Jackson maintained his defeating the ends of justice conviction.

Both had been sentenced to five years' imprisonment on the assault charges and one year for kidnapping, while Jackson received one year for defeating the ends of justice for burning the coffin which was to be used as evidence.

In the ruling, Judge Yvonne Thokozile Mbata said: "I would order the short sentences to run concurrently with the five-year sentence. The result is that both appellants will be sentenced to an effective five years' imprisonment."

Singabakho Nxumalo, spokesperson of the Department of Correctional Services, confirmed to Netwerk24 that parole had been granted to both Jackson and Oosthuizen because they had served the minimum required sentences and completed the required rehabilitation programmes successfully. 

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Should Covid-19 vaccinations be mandatory for employees in workplaces?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it is the responsible thing to do
46% - 2714 votes
No, vaccination should be an individual choice
43% - 2552 votes
No, but those who are unvaccinated should have to work from home
11% - 662 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.55
+1.4%
Rand - Pound
20.31
+0.9%
Rand - Euro
17.29
+1.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.76
+1.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+1.0%
Gold
1,828.38
+1.2%
Silver
25.57
+2.4%
Palladium
2,654.50
+1.0%
Platinum
1,067.86
-0.3%
Brent Crude
74.74
+0.4%
Top 40
63,395
+1.7%
All Share
69,565
+1.5%
Resource 10
72,109
+2.6%
Industrial 25
88,428
+1.2%
Financial 15
12,835
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE