2 August 2017

South Africa: Coffin Assault Victim Victor Mlotshwa Weeps During Testimony

Emotional testimony from the man who was forced into a coffin on a Middelburg farm forced Judge Segopotje Mphahlele to adjourn the matter after Victor Mlotshwa broke down when he took the stand.

Upon seeing her son break down on what was the third day of the trial in the High Court sitting in the Middleburg Magistrate's court on Wednesday, Mlotshwa's mother, Lonia, who is also expected to testify, also started to weep.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen are facing charges of kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder and possession of an illegal firearm.

There were also heated reactions from the public as Mlotshwa wept as he recalled how the two men had forced him into a coffin and allegedly threatened to pour petrol over him.

Some members of the public could be heard threatening violence, saying the accused did not show any remorse.

"God will punish them," one said.

Upon seeing her son weeping, Mlotshwa's mother said, "What are you doing to him? What are you doing to him?" She was comforted by members of the public.

Earlier, Mlotshwa gave detailed testimony on how he was assaulted by the pair on August 17.

'I was scared, shivering and crying'

He said his mother had sent him to Middelburg to buy groceries when he came across a bakkie.

He said he used a foot path as a way to get to Middelburg faster.

Mlotshwa said Jackson approached him while driving a bakkie and he noticed that he was not in a good mood.

When he tried to run, he noticed another vehicle which was driven by Oosthuizen coming straight towards him, he said.

He told the court that the two chased after him until he lost strength. He said without saying anything to him, the accused assaulted him.

The pair tied his hands with cable ties, and also tied him to one of the bakkies, he said.

He told the court that he was kicked many times and he struggled to stand.

"The situation was painful. I was scared, shivering and crying," Mlotshwa said.

#CoffinAssault #VictorMlotshwa's mother is emotional @News24 pic.twitter.com/bidmVEVE8H-- Jeanette Chabalala (@J_chabalala) August 2, 2017

He said one of the accused forced him into the coffin. They also said they would shoot him if he ran, the court heard.

"I was in a difficult situation and I pleaded with them not to do what they wanted to do.

"I was under the impression that they wanted to kill me. I just want to say the situation was painful."

Prosecutor Robert Molokoane asked the court to adjourn the matter to Thursday due to safety reasons following threats made by the public in relation to the accused.

He said 20 police officers would be deployed in order to keep watch.

Another alleged victim

The court also heard testimony from Delton Sithole, who claims to have also been assaulted by the pair. Sithole said they had also kicked him and called him a k****r.

He also told the court that since the accused were released on bail in July, he fears they would come after him.

Sithole was previously asked by Molokoane how he felt when he was allegedly called a k****r. He said, "I felt degraded."

He also testified that the two assaulted him for a long while, apparently on the same day as Mlotshwa.

"My legs were hurt. In the process of this assault, I injured my tongue."

But both the accused denied knowing him. They claimed that the incident relating to Mlotshwa happened on September 7 and not on August 17 as Sithole had testified.

Advocate Org Basson for Jackson said Sithole's version of events was made up.

Basson put it to Sithole that he made a statement to the police because he wanted to support Mlotshwa.

Source: News24

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