Coffin assault trial moves to Middleburg High Court

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

FILE: Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson appear in the Middelburg Magistrates Court for assault and forcing another man to lie in a coffin. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The trial of two white men accused of forcing a black man into a coffin on a farm in Mpumalanga has been moved from the High Court in Delmas to Middleburg.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says most witnesses reside in the Middleburg area.

The coffin assault case as it became known, made headlines earlier this year when cellphone footage showed two men threatening to pour petrol and set a coffin alight after their victim Rethabile Mlotshwa was placed inside.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Mlotshwa was supported by a number of people, including those from political parties who called for a heavy sentence.

The trial has been set down for the next week.

The NPA’s Monica Nyuswa said: “The coffin assault case will be in the Middleburg High Court from 1 to 10 August.”

The pair is out on a R1,000 bail each.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)