Capetonians rally behind Victor Mlotshwa following racist attack

Earlier this year, Mlotshwa was forced into a coffin allegedly by two men who then threatened to set it alight.

Rethabile Mlotshwa sits inside Middleburg Magistrate Court during the appearance of the two men accused of racially abusing him after they attempted to lock him inside a coffin. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Some Capetonians have rallied to start a crowd fund for Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa , the victim of an alleged racist attack in Middelburg in Mpumalanga.

Earlier this year, Mlotshwa was forced into a coffin, allegedly by two men who then threatened to set it on fire.

The video of Mlotshwa the incident led to the arrest of Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson.

Both men abandoned their bail applications in the Middleburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Mlotshwa had been accused of trespassing on their farm.

Fund organiser, Lizzy Allen, says she hopes the contribution can help the Mlotshwa family ahead of the festive season.

“People were openly weeping when they saw that video. White people, white South Africans, from my own spectra and from those I was speaking to, it was very clear that people felt quite strongly that they didn’t want to be lumped with those guys. They condemn that cruel racist behaviour.”

WATCH: Coffin assault case postponed

At the same time, Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery has said the so-called coffin assault is a hate crime.

Jeffery said if the assault was influenced by the victim's race, then it constitutes a hate crime.

“If it was done because the victim was black then that becomes a hate crime. If the race or group identity of the person is not relevant it’s an ordinary crime.”

The case has sparked outrage, with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation describing the assault as one of the most despicable and racially motivated acts to shake the country this year.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress’s Desmond Moela said racists are not welcome in the country.

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

SAHRC CONSIDERS FURTHER LEGAL STEPS

The South African Human Rights Commission says it’s considering taking two men implicated in the so-called coffin assault to the Equality Court.

The commission’s Gushwell Brooks said there’s no reasonable explanation behind the apparent racial attack.

“The accused also claim that he was trespassing on their property that’s why they took this action which is inexcusable. We are looking into taking this matter to the Equality Court.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)