White farmers convicted in S Africa coffin case

Published: August 25, 2017 14:21:53 | Updated: October 25, 2017 04:00:15


Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson denied any wrongdoing. - Reuters photo

Two white South African farmers who forced a black man into a coffin have been convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping, reports BBC.

 

Victor Mlotshwa, 27, was beaten and forced into the coffin by Theo Martins Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen in August 2016.

 

The pair have yet to be sentenced. They had denied the charges.

 

The case has caused outrage in South Africa and highlighted racial tensions in farming communities.

 

Mlotshwa only reported the matter after footage of the assault emerged on YouTube months later.

 

His attackers threatened to douse him in petrol and burn him alive.

 

In a court affidavit, Jackson and Oosthuizen said they did not mean to harm Mlotshwa but merely wanted to "teach him a lesson".

 

They claimed that Mlotshwa had been trespassing on their land.

 

As Judge Segopotje Mphahlele read out the guilty verdict in Middelburg Magistrates Court on Friday, supporters of the victim burst into songs of celebration.

 

"I'm relieved that justice has been served," Mlotshwa told the BBC.

 

Judge Mphahlele told the court she was satisfied that the prosecution had proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and that it was clear that the convicted men intended to kill the victim.

 

The prosecutor has asked the court to revoke their bail for security reasons.

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