Coffin duo back in court


The bail application of two white men who allegedly forced a black man into a coffin will continue in the Middelburg Magistrate's Court on Friday.

After Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen’s application was postponed on Thursday, Mpumalanga ANC regional chairperson Speedy Mashilo said they should spend Christmas in jail so "they know how it feels to be in a coffin".

"Not all white people are racists, but these two are. Black and white, South Africa belongs to all of us," Mashilo said.

He said they would be back on Friday to support Victor Mlotshwa.

Read more: Coffin duo told man they would shoot him if he ran, court hears

Mlotshwa was allegedly beaten, threatened with being shot, and forced to get into a coffin at the JM de Beer Boerdery, near the Komati power station, in August.

Jackson and Oosthuizen face charges of kidnapping and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Read more: Legal experts on horrendous coffin attack

Testifying during their bail hearing on Thursday, investigating officer Detective Constable Dimakatso Bahula told the court that on August 17, Mlotshwa left his home in a local informal settlement.

He noticed two Land Cruisers following him. Bahula said the bakkies stopped and two men got out and assaulted Mlotshwa. Both men warned Mlotshwa that they would shoot him if he tried to run.

Bail bid opposed

She said Jackson got a coffin and told Mlotshwa to get in, while Oosthuizen helped him. They allegedly threatened him with a knobkerrie.

Prosecutor Rean Lourens opposed bail, saying the two might interfere with witnesses and might be in danger if they were released.

Defence lawyer John Welch said there was no reason for Jackson and Oosthuizen to be denied bail. He said both men denied any knowledge of the assault, or knowing Mlotshwa.

Jackson and Oosthuizen abandoned their bail bid last month, but decided to reapply for bail.

The court gallery was packed with journalists and members of the public. DA and ANC members protested outside.

In a 20-second video, which was posted on YouTube on November 7, an Afrikaans-speaking man forces Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatens to pour petrol on him.


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