The notorious coffin assault perpetrators – Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson, who beat up a black man, Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa, put him in a coffin and shared a video of the inhumane act on social media have been granted bail.
Both perpetrators who are white were charged with kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and attempted murder for the crime committed in 2016. Notwithstanding, the pair has told the court that they did not mean to harm Mlotshwa. Instead, they only wanted to teach him a lesson.
Subsequently, they were granted a R1,000 bail in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday. As a result, there was an outcry in the courtroom when judgement in the bail application of the two white men were pronounced.
In addition, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) kicked against the decision to grant bail to the duo before their trial which comes up later this month.
According to a statement by the party’s national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi, the EFF is highly disappointed at the path the case has taken.
“The EFF expresses grave disappointment at the granting of R1000 bail each to the accused of Victor Mlotshwa’s assault. The two white men by the names of Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson, who beat up a black man, Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa, and put him in a coffin. These white racists then took a video and put it up on social media for amusement after humiliating Mr Mlotshwa,” said Ndlozi.
In the statement, Ndlozi pointed out the inconsistency shown by the Middelburg Magistrate Court in the decision to release the two men based on the fact that the delay in court proceedings was unfair to them.
Speaking of the reason given by the court for granting bail to the coffin assault perpetrators, Ndlozi said;
“Countless young Black men and women whither away in jail without fair trial but are not granted bail due to the delays. Furthermore, the two accused are not exempt from continuing to be a threat to society. More so because their racist attack was publicized by themselves with no shame nor remorse. Their actions not only dehumanized Mlotshwa but resulted in a community outcry demonstrated in protest.”
Notably, there had not been any new facts supporting the new bail application which was initially declined by the court. Thus, there’s no plausible reason for granting them bail at the moment.
Ndlozi went on to mention student activists who were denied bail after they were arrested for protesting for free education. Yet two white men who attempted murder and are noticeably racists are granted bail. He concluded by calling on the justice system to ensure that justice is served by allowing the two coffin assault perpetrators to rot in jail.