Second accused in coffin case denies assault

Theo Jackson says Mlotshwa had threatened to burn their mealie fields

Second accused in coffin case denies assault

10 August 2017

Middelburg – One of the accused in the coffin assault case, Theo Jackson, has denied tying Victor Mlotshwa with cable ties, assaulting him with clenched fists, a knobkerrie and kicking him all over his body.

Jackson was testifying during the eighth day of the trial in the High Court sitting in the Middelburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen are facing charges of kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder and possession of an illegal firearm.

They were granted R1 000 bail in July after reapplying for bail.

During his evidence-in-chief led by his lawyer Org Basson, Jackson said he never considered what they did to Mlotshwa as wrong.

He said they never assaulted him. Mlotshwa had previously testified that Jackson made use of the knobkerrie to assault him all over his body, but "mostly on the back".

He also said the duo had used cable ties to restrain him. "It is not true," Jackson said.

Jackson said on September 7, 2016, when they apprehended Mlotshwa, Oosthuizen had threatened to take him to the police, however, he begged them not to take him.

He said he remembers the date because on September 8 they caught people who had stolen diesel.

But according to Mlotshwa, the incident happened on August 17, 2017.

"He told us we can do anything to him. Accused one (Oosthuizen) said no, we are taking you to [the] police station," Jackson told the court, with a packed gallery.

He said Mlotshwa had threatened to burn their mealie fields.

He also said he was scared when Mlotshwa threatened to kill their wives and children.

"It made me scared when he said he knows where my wife is and her [Jackson's wife] boss was [previously] shot in his house."

He said on the day of the incident, they only forced Mlotshwa into the coffin briefly.

"Victor was not in the coffin [for] longer than five minutes," Jackson said.

But Basson said Victor had allegedly told police that it lasted for an hour.

"It is not correct," Jackson said.

He also told the court that they normally took photographs of suspects because there were previous allegations that they had assaulted people.

He denied that he had a firearm or petrol.

He told the court that he had caught Mlotshwa carrying a black bag with suspected stolen copper cables.

Jackson said when they threatened to pour petrol over Mlotshwa while in the coffin, they only wanted to scare him.

He said he was carrying a white container that had bolts, nuts and screws and Mlotshwa could not see what was in it.

"I asked for [a] match from accused one (Oosthuizen) so that Victor can think it is petrol," he said.

"Accused one placed a lid on him. Victor started to cry loudly. Willem stopped the video and said get out of the coffin."

He said soon after that, Mlotshwa assisted them to put the coffin on the bakkie.

The matter continues.