Political parties set differences aside, express outrage at coffin suspects

Supporters gathered outside the Middleburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday, calling for an end to racism.

Two men accused of attacking a man in an apparent racially-motivated incident have abandoned their bail application on 16 November 2016. Picture: Christa EybersEWN

JOHANNESBURG – Supporters of different political parties set their differences aside as they gathered outside the Middleburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday, calling for an end to racism after a black man was forced into a coffin by two white men.

A video of the incident involving Rethabile Mlotshwa went viral, leading to the arrest of Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson.

The two yesterday abandoned their bail application.

The African National Congress (ANC)’s Desmond Moela says racism and racists are not welcome in the country.

“We’ll make sure that those who are still racist, especially white people who are still racist, we’ll drive them to the sea so that they go back to where they came from.”

While the two accused remain in custody and wait to appear again in January, the ANC says it has arranged for the Mlotshwa family to receive counselling, especially the mother who is now receiving medical care.


At the same time, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has described the coffin assault as one of the most despicable, racially motivated acts to shake the country this year.

The foundation’s Zaakirah Vadi says South Africans of all races should condemn the crime.

“I think it’s one of the most hideous acts of racism that we have seen thus far. Previously, we have seen people mentioning racist terminology on social media, but this is an actual violent incident that has taken place.”

WATCH: Coffin assault case postponed


Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi on Wednesday said only white people who recognise black people as humans should remain in South Africa.

Ndlozi said such people will not be welcome in South Africa, should the EFF take over.

“If we take over, they are welcome to go. If they want to be human they are welcome to stay like any other human.”

He said a real rainbow nation will exist without racism and when land has been expropriated without compensation.

Meanwhile, Mlotshwa says it will take some time to heal following the incident.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)