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White farmers convicted for forcing a black man into a coffin

White farmers convicted for forcing a black man into a coffin

Two white South African farmers, who forced a black man into a coffin, have been convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping, on Friday.

Victor Mlotshwa, 27, was beaten and forced into the coffin by Theo Martins Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen in August 2016.

Although they denied the charges, the case caused outrage in South Africa and highlighted racial tensions in farming communities.

Mr Mlotshwa only reported the matter after footage of the assault emerged on YouTube months later. His attackers threatened to douse him in petrol and burn him alive.

In a court affidavit, Jackson and Oosthuizen said they did not mean to harm Mr Mlotshwa but merely wanted to “teach him a lesson”.

They claimed that Mr Mlotshwa had been trespassing on their land.

As Judge Segopotje Mphahlele read out the guilty verdict in Middelburg Magistrates Court, supporters of the victim burst into songs of celebration.

“I’m relieved that justice has been served,” Mr Mlotshwa told newsmen.

Judge Mphahlele told the court she was satisfied that the prosecution had proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and that it was clear that the convicted men intended to kill the victim.

The prosecutor has asked the court to revoke their bail for security reasons.

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