Lawyers to coffin assault suspects, Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson, have confirmed that the duo will be reapplying for bail in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Willem Oosthuizen and Jackson abandoned their bail application after their court appearance on November 16, citing fear of jungle justice as a reason.
Their decision was also supported by the court due to the magnitude of the matter.
Police spokesman Leonard Hlathi confirmed that the pair would be back in court on Thursday.
“They applied for bail through their lawyers. The matter will be heard at the Middleburg Magistrate’ Court on Thursday‚” Hlathi said.
The pair was arrested after a video footage showed them shoving a black man Rethabile Mlotshwa into a coffin for allegedly trespassing on their farm. They also threatened to douse the coffin with petrol and set him alight.
The victim told reporters that he was walking to the town of Middelburg and decided to use a shortcut when the two men spotted him.
“They accused me of trespassing. Then they beat me up and I had to run away. They tied me with a cable tie and took me to the nearest farm. They beat me up and forced me into the coffin.” he said.
The incident took place at JM De Beer Boerdery next to Komati Power Station. The video footage, which went viral on the internet last month led to a public outcry and supports for the victim from most political parties, aggrieved individuals, including President Jacob Zuma.
An unconfirmed report also linked the pair to another racial attack on 27-year old Delton Sithole. The victim confessed the two white farmers assaulted him.
The men are expected to face charges of kidnapping and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm when they appear in court on January 25.
In recent years, cases of racism have erupted regularly on social media. In June, South African realtor Penny Sparrow was fined for labelling blacks who litter beaches monkeys on her a Facebook page.
In August, a previously whites-only girls school made headlines after black pupils alleged they were called monkeys by teachers for wearing banned ‘afros’.
With these and more, one is left with no other choice but to believe that the country is still beset by deep-rooted inequality 22 years after the end of white-minority rule.