Defence, prosecution give final submissions in coffin assault case

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson were convicted of attempted murder, assault, kidnapping and intimidation for attacking Rethabile Mlotshwa and forcing him into a coffin.

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson were convicted of attempted murder, assault, kidnapping and intimidation after they were recorded on video forcing Rethabile Mlotshwa into a coffin. Picture:  Pelane Phakgadi/EWN

MIDDELBURG - Hundreds of African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters have gathered outside the High Court sitting in Middelburg in a show of support for the coffin assault victim.

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson were convicted of attempted murder, assault, kidnapping and intimidation after they were recorded on video forcing Rethabile Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatening to set it alight.

As ANC and DA supporters sing outside the courthouse, a packed gallery is waiting to hear the sentence that will be handed down to Oosthuizen and Jackson.

Judge Sheila Mphahlele is hearing submissions from the defence and the prosecution.

A social worker, who has asked the court to have her identity withheld, was the first witness for the defence.

She’s highlighted that the co-accused are breadwinners, implying that they be handed a lenient sentence.

Oosthuizen has told the Middleburg Magistrates Court he regrets forcing Mlothshwa into a coffin.

Oosthuizen says he should have taken the man to a police station instead.

The pair is being sentenced on Monday.