#CoffinAssault victim: Duo deserves harsh sentence

Rethabile Mlotshwa says he's relieved that Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson have been found guilty of attempted murder and kidnapping.

FILE: Rethabile Mlotshwa sits inside Middelburg Magistrates 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.

JOHANNESBURG - The victim in the so-called coffin assault case has urged Judge Sheila Mphahlele to hand down a heavy sentence for the two men found guilty of attempting to murder him.

Rethabile Mlotshwa says he's relieved that Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson have been found guilty on four other charges, including kidnapping.

The two men made headlines last year when a video emerged showing them forcing Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatening to set it alight.

Mlotshwa says the two men deserve a harsh sentence.

“They need to get a minimum of 15 years imprisonment.”

He says he was deeply traumatised by what happened and he hopes to now heal emotionally.

Mlotshwa says he is pleased with the outcome of the court case.

“Justice has been served, the guys were found guilty and it’s a good feeling.”

Prosecutor Robert Molokoane says it is not over yet.

“The matter has been postponed to 23 October for sentencing. It is still another mile that we have to go through, we’re not yet done.”

People gathered outside the court in Mlotshwa's support.

'THERE IS NO PLACE FOR RACISM IN SOCIETY'

At the same time, Amnesty International has urged government to finalise hate crime legislation to deal decisively with incidents of racism.

It says there is no place in society for racism.

The organisation has described the case as hideous, saying it shows that racism still runs deep in the country.

Until 23 October, Oosthuizen and Jackson are out on extended bail.

NPA WELCOMES JUDGMENT

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the guilty verdicts handed to the two men.

The NPA's Monica Nyuswa said: “Today we’re celebrating the victory of the criminal justice system. We’re happy that the State managed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.”