South Africa black coffin

South Africa: White farmers force Black man to enter a coffin [Photo]

A black South African man who was allegedly forced into a coffin by two white farmers for trespassing says he was scared for his life.

Victor Mlotshwa was speaking outside court in the north-eastern town of Middelburg where his alleged attackers appeared before a magistrate.

“I thought they were going to kill me,” he said.

A 20-second video of the incident has been circulating on social media, causing outrage.

Victor Mlotshwa

Victor Mlotshwa says he was walking home when he was kidnapped and assaulted

The BBC‘s Pumza Fihlani in Middelburg says inside the magistrates’ court, the two accused, Theo Martins Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen, stood with their heads bowed as journalists and community members took photographs of them.

They have been charged with kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

force-coffin

The two have been remanded in custody until 25 January as prosecutors said they needed time to investigate, including authenticating the video.

The footage, which was shot on 17 August, has only recently surfaced.

It shows a white man forcing a black man inside a coffin, and threatening to pour petrol over him and set it alight.

Mr Mlotshwa told reporters that he had been walking home through the men’s farm, which is near Middelburg, 162km (100 miles) north-east of Johannesburg, when he was kidnapped and accused of trespassing.

Theo Martins (L) and Willem Oosthuizen in court

Theo Martins Jackson (L) and Willem Oosthuizen (R) will remain in custody until January

“There’s a pathway through the farm to the township where I live and many of us walk through there. I tried to explain to them why I was there and they just kept beating me,” he said.

Mr Mlotshwa only reported the matter after the video was circulated on social media.

He said he felt humiliated by the incident.

Outside the court, members of the governing African National Congress (ANC), the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) rallied in support of Mr Mlotshwa, our reporter says.

The incident has opened old wounds, with some likening it to the torture black people endured at the height of white minority rule, she says.

 

Source: BBC