Car tracking report supports accused’s version of coffin assault
Car tracking records of the coffin assault accused have disputed evidence given by their alleged victim‚ Victor Mlotshwa.
Andre Maree from a car tracking company on Friday told the high court sitting in Middelburg that the record placed the accused‚ Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen‚ at the scene on September 7 and not on August 17 as stated by Mlotshwa.
The report further poured water on Mlotshwa’s allegations that the coffin ordeal unfolded over an hour.
Maree’s report showed that the vehicles were stationary at the scene for about 15 minutes‚ supporting the accused’s version.
Oosthuizen and Jackson claimed that they had placed Mlotshwa in the coffin for about five minutes and the other 10 minutes were spent offloading the coffin‚ questioning him and taking a photograph of him.
But‚ in a quick and brief cross-examination‚ prosecutor Robert Molokoane tore into the accuracy of the tracking reports‚ alleging they could have been manipulated.
Maree had testified that the PDF files containing the report were less likely to be tampered with‚ but Molokoane presented the same report into which had entered his own name. This‚ he said‚ proved the report was not 100% tamper proof.
“We cannot say really that these are the exact comparisons. You were sitting in the office and you were told about the points and you generated these points from your table‚” said Molokoane.
“Have you ever been to the scene?” he asked Maree.
“No‚ I haven’t‚” Maree replied‚ maintaining that the GPS system was accurate.
Jackson and Oosthuizen face a string of charges related to the alleged attack on Mlotshwa‚ placing him in a coffin and threatening to set it alight.
They allege they had done so after catching him with stolen copper cables. The pair testified that they wanted to deter Mlotshwa from ever stealing again and further claimed that he had threatened to burn their crops and kill their wives and children if they took him to the police.
Their version is that Mlotshwa begged to be assaulted rather than jailed.
Mlotshwa’s version‚ however‚ is that the pair attacked him when he was hitchhiking to Middelburg.
He denied being in possession of stolen goods or threatening Jackson and Oosthuizen.
He said he had told them what they wanted to hear to save his life.
After nine days‚ the trial was concluded. Oral arguments are to be delivered on August 21.