Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson, the two white South Africans who were filmed allegedly forcing a black man into a coffin in a video that went viral on social media were denied bail on Thursday morning.
The two appeared at the Middelburg Magistrates Court on charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa.
The 20-second video caused widespread outrage, trending on social media under the hashtag, #CoffinAssault. Major political parties have protested outside the court during the last court hearing. During the last hearing the two pleaded that they wanted to teach the victim a lesson.
What is shockingly aggravating in this case is the manner in which the victim screamed, urging the men not to do this. The explanation by the applicants is that they had to teach the victims a lesson. This is more than offending.
Local media reported that the magistrate expressed shock at what he said was ‘‘sadistic and racist’‘ adding that it she was not surprised at the global outrage that met the incident.
Magistrate Jongilizwe Dumehleli was quoted as saying, ‘‘What is shockingly aggravating in this case is the manner in which the victim screamed, urging the men not to do this. The explanation by the applicants is that they had to teach the victims a lesson. This is more than offending.
‘‘Their explanation is that they were threatened by the complainant. I reject this because it’s improbable especially taking into account their courage to force the victim into the coffin.”
In the video, is seen being forced into a coffin by a man. The video was filmed at JM de Beer Boerdery next to the Komati Power Station‚ near Middelburg in Mpumalanga.
The video also shows one of the white men speaking in Afrikaans also threatening to pour petrol on the victim. They are also accused of threatening to place a snake into the coffin.