At last and as expected, President Jacob Zuma has finally broken his silence on the coffin assault case of a black man Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa.
Addressing the National Council of Provinces at a gathering in East London on Friday‚ Zuma lambasted the two white men for their shocking and despicable act, describing it as “shocking and painful in the extreme”.
According to the President, the coffin assault is a clear picture of the deep-seated racist attitudes that still prevail in some parts of the country – where black people are still regarded as lesser human beings.
Losing his cool on the perpetrators, Zuma vowed that the white men must face the full force of the law. Not only them, he told his listeners that any other individual caught carrying out various acts of racism “in our non-racial democracy” must also pay dearly for his actions.
On Wednesday two white men Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson appeared on charges of kidnapping and assault with intent of grievous bodily harm to a black man Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa.
Mlotshwa was racially attacked for allegedly trespassing on their farm. The incident took place at JM De Beer Boerdery next to Komati Power Station.
The 20-second video of the incident went viral after being posted on Youtube on November 7. Not only did the video trigger anger on the social media, most political parties marched down to the court yesterday to show off their anger and also support the victim.
Many believe Mlotshwa was humiliated simply because of his blackness. Others, including the white folks, vehemently agreed the incident was outrageous and grossly offensive to the sense of decency.
The duo appeared earlier this week in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court. The case continues on January 25.