NEWS

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

The two men who forced Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatened to pour petrol over him have been sentenced to 11 and 14 years, with five suspended

27/10/2017 11:47 SAST | Updated 27/10/2017 12:28 SAST
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Willem Oosthuizen (left) and Theo Jackson, the "Coffin Duo". The two men were respectively sentenced to an effective 11 and 14 years in prison at the Middelburg Magistrates' Court on Friday.

The two men who forced Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatened to pour petrol over him, Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson, were sentenced respectively to an effective 11 and 14 years in prison on Friday.

On charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, kidnapping, attempted murder and intimidation, both men were sentenced to a total of 16 years imprisonment, with Jackson receiving an extra three years on a charge of defeating the ends of justice.

However, Judge Segopotje Mphahlele suspended five years of each man's sentence.

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During their fortnight-long trial, the accused argued that they had to act, after Mlotshwa allegedly threatened to burn their crops and murder their wives and children when they detained him for copper cable theft.

Jackson told the court that he was told to "get rid" of the coffin, because it was causing trouble. The coffin would be used as crucial evidence in the case.

During his evidence in chief, led by his lawyer Org Basson, Jackson said he had not considered what they did to Mlotshwa wrong.

Mlotshwa previously testified that Jackson assaulted him with a knobkierie all over his body, but "mostly on the back".

He also said the duo had used cable ties to restrain him.

After the judge delivered sentencing, counsel for Jackson and Oosthuizen immediately appealed the sentences as inappropriate, and Judge Mphahlele was considering their submissions at the time of publication. Her ruling on the appeal is expected today.