Back to jail for coffin assault convicts

07 December 2017 - 14:56 By Naledi Shange
Coffin assault duo, Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen head back to prison.
Coffin assault duo, Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen head back to prison.
Image: Naledi Shange

It was an emotional sight as one of the wives of the two farm workers convicted of trying to kill Victor Mlotshwa wept silently in the court gallery following her husband’s failed bail bid in the Middelburg High Court on Thursday.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen were trying to get bail pending the outcomes of their petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal where they want to challenge their conviction and sentence.

Delivering her judgment‚ Judge Segopotje Mphahlele said the two had failed to raise any new evidence since the last time they appeared before her.

“I am still of the view that there are no reasonable prospects for this appeal‚” Mphahlele said.

“Whatever the outcome of the petition and should they be given leave to appeal the sentence and conviction‚ taking into account the evidence present and the seriousness of the charges‚ it is likely that the sentences to be imposed will be custodial‚” she said.

“Granting the appeal will be delaying the inevitable‚” Mphahlele said‚ denying them bail.

The courtroom erupted in jubilation as members of the ANC along with the duo’s victim‚ Victor Mlotshwa‚ rejoiced.

Outside court‚ Mlotshwa spoke to reporters.

He described the process of coming to see his attackers as an “emotionally taxing task”.

But despite this‚ he will be pushing forward with the civil claim against Jackson and Oosthuizen.

He wants to sue them for R400‚000 for the emotional trauma and humiliation he claims to have suffered.

Jackson and Oosthuizen have been behind bars for a little over a month after they were found guilty of a string of charges including kidnapping‚ assault and the attempted murder of Mlotshwa.

The pair were arrested after a video they took of themselves‚ forcing Mlotshwa into a coffin as he begged and pleaded for his life‚ went viral.

They threatened to put a snake in the coffin and burn Mlotshwa alive.

During the trial‚ the two farm workers said they were trying to scare Mlotshwa.

They claimed to have caught him in possession of stolen cables. Their version was that Mlotshwa threatened to burn their crops and harm their families should they take him to the police station.

Mlotshwa denied stealing or making threats and said the pair had suddenly attacked him as he waited to hitchhike to town.