Coffin assault duo set to learn fate as sentencing starts

Judge Sheila Mphahlele found the pair guilty of attempted murder, intimidation, kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson appear in the Middelburg magistrates court. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

MIDDELBURG – Two men found guilty of forcing a man into a coffin and threatening to set it alight near Middelburg are expected to find out their fate on Monday, when sentencing in their trial is handed down.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen were found guilty of attempted murder and other charges.

A video showing the incident sparked outrage on social media last year.

During their last appearance at the High Court sitting at Middelburg magistrates court earlier this year, the duo were granted extended bail.

Judge Sheila Mphahlele found the pair guilty of attempted murder, intimidation, kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

During proceedings, the court was packed to capacity with African National Congress, Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance supporters, pledging their support to the victim, Rethabile Mlothswa.

The accused argued on several occasions that they were forced to act when Mlotshwa allegedly threatened to burn their crops and murder their wives and children.

Judge Mphahlele, however, did not find their explanation reasonable.

Mlotshwa spoke after the judgment, saying that he was happy with the outcome.

He says this should teach other people not to be racist.