A video of the attack shows one of the men trying to push the victim into the coffin with a lid, as a voice is heard saying, “Come now, we want to pour the petrol man, get in. Bring that snake as well.”
Two white South Africans, Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson, who forced a black man into a coffin and threatened to set him on fire, were sentenced over 10 years in prison on Friday.
Judge Segopotje Mphahlele said the complainant, Victor Mlotshwa, was “badly assaulted, kidnapped, intimidated not to report the matter to the police.”
“Without diminishing the seriousness of the accused’s general conduct, the most appalling act by the accused was to put a living person in a coffin against his will and under threat of killing him,” she said.
Since their prison terms are partially suspended, Oosthuizen will spend only 11 years in prison, and Jackson 14, The Daily Mail reported. They are 29 and 30 years old, respectively.
Al-Jazeera tweeted a video of their horrifying assault on Victor Mlotshwa, who is visibly terrified.
As one of the men tries to push Mlotshwa into the coffin with a lid, a voice can be heard saying, “Come now, we want to pour the petrol man, get in. Bring that snake as well.”
Mlotshwa wails helplessly.
Mlotshwa complained to the police only after a video of his ordeal was widely shared on social media, the Telegraph reported.
Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson accused him of threatening to destroy their crops and murder their families, and said they wanted to punish him for attempting to steal from them, the report said.
News24 reported that after the duo were sentenced, Mlotshwa’s mother Leona said she was “very happy,” but also that she couldn’t forgive Oosthuizen and Jackson, because “they failed to have mercy on my child when they forced him into the coffin.”