Coffin Assault Sentences: 11 & 14 Years -- Defence Appealing

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The two farmers, Theo Martins Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen, were handed 14 and 11-year prison terms respectively on charges of assault, kidnapping and the attempted murder of Mlotshwa.

"The conduct of the accused confirms that a lot still needs to be done by the state and public that those who abuse the bill of rights are brought to book, " Judge Segopotje Mphahlele, said in a live TV broadcast while handing her judgment at the High Court in Middelburg, Mpumalanga province.

She added that the government was initiating various programmes to promote unity, reconciliation, nation building and cohesion and said it was important to acknowledge that building a non-racial society required a two-way process and dialogue, particularly in a society that had emerged from centuries of colonialism and apartheid.

Married father of three Jackson, 30, was sentenced to 19 years with 5 suspended meaning he serves 14 years. "They took the video to show what they do with the black man".

The two farm workers who filmed themselves forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin will each spend more than a decade behind bars.

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As one man pushes the lid down the other threatens to put petrol and a snake inside.

From the start, Jackson and Oosthuizen pleaded not guilty to all the charges even though they admitted that they had placed Mlotshwa in the coffin because they wanted to "scare him".

The two said they had caught the victim trespassing on their farm in possession of stolen copper cables.

Jackson told the court that he was told to "get rid" of the coffin, because it was causing trouble. However‚ Mlotshwa said they had suddenly attacked him as he waited to hitch hike to town.

Mr Mlotshwa denied making any threats to the two farmers.

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