#CoffinAssault: Charges laid a

#CoffinAssault: Charges laid after man saw video on social media

The man who was forced into a coffin and threatened said he laid a charge after the video surfaced on social media.

#CoffinAssault: Charges laid a

By Jeanette Chabalala for News24

When Victor Mlotshwa saw video footage of himself being beaten and forced into a coffin on social media, he opened a case with police, a farm worker colleague told News24 on Wednesday.

The worker at the JM de Beer Boerdery, near the Komati power station in Mpumalanga, said the assault happened on August 27, while the owner of the farm was in Namibia.

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

The worker, who asked not to be identified, said he saw the video after it was posted online.

He said the farm’s owner was a “good guy”.

“His subordinate took over when the boss was away. He took Victor and accused him of stealing a cable.”

Mlotshwa said he feared for his life during the ordeal.

“They beat me up, tied me and put me in a coffin,” he said outside the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court, where the two alleged culprits appeared.

“They accused me of trespassing on their farm and they started beating me up. There was a footpath there and I decided to use it.

“The next thing, there was a grave and then a coffin. There was nothing I could do because the other man had a gun,” he said.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen abandoned their bail applications on Wednesday.

The court gallery was packed to capacity with local residents and members of various political parties.

Dressed in an ANC T-shirt, Mlotshwa sat in the public gallery, a row behind his alleged attackers.

Prosecutor Rean Lourens said it was not in the interest of the community that the two be granted bail. The case was postponed to January 25.

Mlotshwa’s brother, Thobile, said they were not aware of the attack until recently.

“He didn’t have evidence to prove what had happened. It’s only two weeks back that he decided to open the case. He didn’t think anyone would believe him,” he said.

ANC, DA and EFF members protested outside court, holding placards, some of which read, “Life sentence for this racists” and “Racism must fall”.

The ANC and EFF held two opposing gatherings, with their own stages, set up several metres from each other outside the court.

Provincial ANCYL deputy president Desmond Moena said Mlotshwa belonged to them. He called the EFF “political prostitutes”.

He said Jackson and Oosthuizen should have been granted bail.

“It was our wish that the two suspects get bail so that we can have a chat with them to find out what was going through their minds,” Moena said.

“We are saying as the ANCYL in the province that racism must fall. We are not going to be apologetic to those who are racists. We are going to drive them to the sea where they come from. They took our land and now they want to torture our people.”