#CoffinAssault case to resume in March
\n Neo Goba | 2017-01-25 11:24:42.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n
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\n \n \n \n Theo Martins and Willem Oosthuizen, the two men who allegedly assaulted and forced Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin. File photo.\n \n \n \n
Image by: ALON SKUY\n \n \n \n
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\n The case against the two men accused of beating and forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin has been postponed.\n
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“Gentleman‚ this case is now postponed to the sexual offences court for first appearance on 23 March 2017 and you will both appear at the regional court‚” said magistrate Jongilizwe Dumehleli on Wednesday morning.
Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson will remain in custody until then as they were denied bail at the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court‚ in Mpumalanga‚ on December 8‚ dashing their hope to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with their families.
Magistrate Jongilizwe Dumehleli described the actions of the two as shocking before ordering they be remanded in custody.
In their first court appearance‚ the two decided they would not apply for bail because they feared they would be attacked after the public outcry against their alleged assault on Mlotshwa. The two later decided to apply for bail but were unsuccessful.
The magistrate said the families would be able to survive if Oosthuizen and Jackson remained in custody and he predicted more bloodshed would follow if they were released on bail.
In a 20-second video clip that went viral‚ trending under the #CoffinAssault hashtag‚ on social media‚ one of the men can be seen forcing Mlotshwa into a coffin while his accomplice threatens to set it alight. As they attempted to close the coffin with him inside‚ Mlotshwa could be heard crying. The incident was filmed at JM De Beer Boerdery next to Komati Power Station‚ close to Middelburg.
The pair has been charged with kidnapping‚ assault‚ intent to cause grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice.
The magistrate said the incident was clearly racially motivated‚ but told the two accused they could appeal his decision.
“Therefore‚ you may instruct your legal team to proceed to the high court and persuade the high court to release you on bail. Unfortunately‚ in my court‚ I deny bail‚” Dumehleli said. – TMG Digital
National Prosecuting Authority provincial spokesperson Monica Nyuswa told TMG Digital that the trial might be moved to the regional court for trial‚ which may result in a postponement. – TMG Digital
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