Coffin assault pair to approach SCA over ‘harsh’ sentences

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen were sentenced to 14 and 11 years respectively for the attack on Rethabile Mlotshwa.

Coffin assault duo Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson in court for their sentencing. Picture: Pelane Phakgadi/EWN.

MIDDELBURG - The two men convicted in the coffin assault case say they'll apply for leave to appeal their sentence in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

The High Court sitting in Middelburg dismissed Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen's application on Friday afternoon, shortly after sentencing them to 14 and 11 years respectively.

They attacked Rethabile Mlotshwa last year, forced him into a coffin and threatened to set it on fire.

Attorney Marius Coetzee says his clients have instructed him to approach the Supreme Court of Appeal.

He says while Jackson and Oosthuizen did commit a crime, they believe the sentences handed down are too harsh because no one died in the attack.

“There’s no way you cannot compare this with similar sort of cases and then you don’t come to the conclusion that the sentences are way too harsh.”

Meanwhile, scores of African National Congress and Democratic Alliance supporters who spent the day singing and chanting outside the court have welcomed the sentences.