Victor Mlotshwa, victim of attempted murder by two South African farmers, speaks to reporters after the trial

Two South African Farmers Found Guilty in “Coffin Case”

By Dena Leichnitz

The South Africa attempted murder, “coffin case”.

While America seems to be reeling with its own racial divisions as of late, there seems to be real racial tensions taking place around the world. South Africa  is not unfamiliar with such racial tensions as they dealt with apartheid for many years that resulted in the imprisonment and eventual release of their President, Nelson Mandela.

So it should not come as a shock that once again racism has reared its ugly head in South Africa. Willem Oosthuizen  and Theo Martins Jackson, according to Yahoo, are two white farmers who nearly killed  Mr. Victor Mlotshwa, a black man by pushing him into a coffin and threatened to burn him alive.

The reason they were found guilty is because they taped the whole thing and put it up on social media outlets.  Had they not done so, they would have probably gotten away with it. However, the judge in the case, Segopotje Mphahlele told the accused that “for attempted murder of Mr Victor Mlotshwa, I hereby find you both guilty.”

This case has sparked intense debate.  According to the same article mentioned above:

Rival activists from the ruling African National Congress party, the main opposition Democratic Alliance and the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had rallied outside court and attended each day of the trial.  The Democratic Alliance welcomed the court ruling, saying “Justice prevails. South Africa has no place for racists”.

photo of the two convicted attempted murderers in the courtroom
photo of the two convicted attempted murderers in the courtroom

The defendants claim that they were not going to truly murder him but just wanted to scare him because he had stolen copper from their farm.

CNN reports that the defendants also claim that he had threatened to hurt their families and damage their crops.  They also stated they took the video so that Mlotshwa could not claim that he was assaulted later on.

And that during the course of the video he admitted to stealing the copper cable.  Yet it didn’t occur to them to also get him to confess to threatening their families and damaging their crops!?

If someone had just threatened my family, I am not thinking about copper cable. And if I am going to get you to confess to something it is sure not going to be something as trivial as cable!  Which tells you there was no such threat to begin with and was only manufactured when they were arrested.

The case has become global news from CNN (see above for link) to Daily Mail and even the BBC reporting on the case, along with other prominent news outlets, including Al Jazeera.

It sheds light on two things, 1) That racism is not a thing of the past and is still alive and well today and 2) That it is always ugly and violent and not the petty “The White server at Starbucks didn’t make my latte the way I liked it, therefore she is racist.” drama that has overtaken the United States of late.  This South African case once again illuminates the real horror of racism.

Victor Mlotshwa and friends during the trial of his attempted murderers
Victor Mlotshwa and friends during the trial of his attempted murderers

The most surprising part of the crime was not the crime itself, it is that the two men honestly felt they had done nothing wrong. “The two men’s families told local media they were shocked by the verdicts.”

So they weren’t shocked that their husbands/sons/fathers, etc., had nearly killed a man but that they were held accountable, that’s the shocking part?

The two men will be sentenced on October 23rd and have had their bail set in the meantime.

It is incredible that such acts are still taking place in 2017. Let’s hope this will serve as a deterrent for those who would think to do such things in this day and time.

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