South Africa: 'hideous' coffin assault case must spur government action on hate crime

In response to the guilty verdict in the coffin assault case by the Middleburg High Court earlier today, Shenilla Mohamed, Amnesty International South Africa Executive Director, said:

“This hideous case lays bare the discrimination that still runs deep in South African society.

“The fact that the whole grotesque episode was captured on video and then posted to social media suggests that the perpetrators felt little concern that they would face justice.

“There is no place for racism or discrimination in any society, and this terrible case must spur the government to finalise the Hate Crimes legislation in order to deal decisively with incidents of discrimination.”

Background

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson were arrested after forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin and threatening to pour petrol over him in August 2016.

They were charged with kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and attempted murder and were put on trial at the Delmas regional court in Mpumalanga province.

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