Political parties call for harsh sentence in coffin assault case

Sentencing was postponed to Friday after the defence and prosecution presented their arguments in mitigation and aggravation of sentence.

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 - Political parties in support of so-called coffin assault victim Rethabile Mlotshwa say they expect nothing but a harsh sentence on Friday.

Sentencing was postponed after the defence and prosecution presented their arguments in mitigation and aggravation of sentence.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen made headlines last year after a video showing them forcing Mlotshwa into a coffin went viral.

The Democratic Alliance’s Sophia Mogola says Judge Sheila Mphahlele should consider the kind of racial divisions a lenient sentence would sow in society.

“It just shows how much education is still needed even moving forward as black people, or even as white people.”

The African National Congress’ Speedy Mashilo says although he expected sentencing on Monday, the judiciary should not be rushed in order for justice to prevail.

“We just expect the sentence that will teach all of that if we commit racial crimes like this one, we will be punished.“

Mlotshwa also shared those sentiments.

“Let the judge decide whatever the decision he is going to give us.”

Oosthuizen and Jackson remain out on extended bail.