Coffin assault accused was told to keep the coffin after incident‚ court hears
A former employer of one of the men accused of assaulting a Middelburg farm worker and placing him in a coffin testified in court on Monday that he had told the accused to keep the coffin after the incident.
Johannes De Beer‚ the co-owner of the farm Theo Jackson worked on‚ said he had heard about the incident from a friend and from social media.
Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen are on trial in the High Court sitting at Delmas Magistrate's Court.
They face charges of attempted murder‚ two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm‚ kidnapping‚ intimidation‚ unlawful possession of a firearm and defeating the ends of justice.
The men have both pleaded not guilty on all charges.
De Beer said Jackson had been working on the farm for 10 years when the incident occurred.
He said Jackson had told him that Victor Mlotshwa [the complainant] had threatened to kill them and their families.
"I called Theo and asked when the incident happened. He told me it was when I was in Namibia.
"I told him that it would be better if he handed himself over‚" De Beer told the court on Monday.
He said the coffin the men had used belonged to his father‚ who had bought two for one of the employees to bury a loved one.
"The family used one coffin. The other one was kept in the store room. I told him [Jackson]‚ he must take the coffin‚ it's now his‚" De Beer said.
"I felt what had happened was not right and I didn't want to get involved."
He said the incident had left him heartbroken.
After the court adjourned for lunch‚ DA and ANC supporters gathered outside the court in two groups‚ chanting songs.
Slash Sepenyana‚ a member of the SACP‚ told the group of ANC supporters that they should not be afraid to confront racist white people.
"We all have interest in the case. We will not back down from calling whites racists. We will not back down from saying they stole our land.
"We are going to come to court everyday to support the victim‚" he said.
The trial continues.