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Coffin assault pair jailed for a combined 25 years, DA welcomes sentence

By Jesica Slabbert - Oct 27, 2017
Coffin assault pair jailed for a combined 25 years, DA welcomes sentence

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson, who were convicted of forcing, Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa, into a coffin against his will in October last year, were sentenced to combined 25 years of direct imprisonment in the Middleberg Magistrates Court on Friday.

In a video that went viral and sparked debate on social media, the two men were seen forcing Victor into a coffin and threatening to douse him with petrol.

They also threatened to throw a snake in the coffin with him.

Victor claimed he was accused of land invasion and stealing, which is what led the two men to assault him and shove him into the coffin.

They were both found guilty in August of kidnapping, assault, attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Oosthuizen was sentenced to an effective 11 years in prison while co-accused Jackson was given an effective 14 years in prison.

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) said that it welcomes the sentence handed down by the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court.

"This sentencing indeed sends a strong message that racism in any shape or form will not be tolerated in South Africa," said James Masango MPL - DA Mpumalanga Provincial Leader.

"The DA believes that we must strive to build a society that is free of conflict and fear and that all South Africans must stand up against racial hatred and bigotry.

"We must all take a stand to reject racism and focus our energy on building a better South Africa where our worth is not defined by the colour of our skin."

Masango said that racism has no place in South Africa and today, justice was served.