Two Jailed Over South Africa Coffin Case

#CoffinAssault: Duo jailed for attack on farmworker

Pleading not guilty to the attempted murder, assault and kidnapping charges against them, Jackson and Oosthuizen said, they only meant to scare Victor with their action.

After the judge delivered sentencing, counsel for Jackson and Oosthuizen immediately appealed the sentences as inappropriate, and Judge Mphahlele was considering their submissions at the time of publication.

"The conclusion of this grotesque case sends a clear - and welcome - message that acts of racism or discrimination will not be tolerated in South Africa", said Shenilla Mohamed, executive director of Amnesty International South Africa. They have said they feared being killed in prison and had pleaded for a suspended sentence.

It shows the two men forcing Mlotshwa into a wooden coffin, using their power in a way that hearkens back to the days of apartheid.

The court is in Mpumalanga Province in the east of South Africa where the farm was based.

However, Judge Segopotje Mphahlele suspended five years of each man's sentence.

The white man persuaded the black man to climb into the coffin.


In August both were convicted after Mr Mlotshwa's ordeal in the coffin was shown to the court on a big screen.

They were also caught on video of threatening to throw a snake in the coffin with their terrified prisoner.

The 20-second video, widely circulated on social media a year ago, shows the victim Victor Mlotshwa cowering inside a coffin as one man pushes the lid down and the other threatens to put petrol and a snake inside.

Mlotshwa was seen begging for his life in his video.

"Why shouldn't we, when you are killing our farm?" one replied.

Oosthuizen and Jackson had maintained they had done nothing wrong and defended the assault by accusing Mlotshwa of stealing copper cables. "They asked him how he wanted to die - quickly or slowly".

Mr Mlotshwa did not report the incident and only went to police when the video went viral months later.

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