Two white South African farmers who tried to lock a black man in a coffin, causing an uproar in South Africa, saw their sentences reduced on appeal to five years in prison.
In 2017, Theo Martins Jackson was sentenced to nineteen years ‘imprisonment, five of which were suspended, and Willem Oosthuizen was given sixteen years’ imprisonment, five of them suspended, by a Middelburg court in the north-east.
The case, triggered by a video posted on the internet, had caused a stir in South Africa, where racist attacks continue to poison the country, especially in rural areas, a quarter of a century after the official end of the segregationist regime. of apartheid.
On the 20-second video turned viral, we see a young black man, Victor Mlotshwa, lying in a coffin. A white man then tries to close the coffin, while the victim moans and tries at all costs to prevent it. One of the two attackers also threatens to fire the coffin and throw a snake.
After their conviction in first instance, the two white farmers seized the Supreme Court of Appeal, which broke the verdict on Monday.
« This court found that the parties who appealed should have been found guilty of intentional assault and not attempted murder, » said Judge Yvonne Thokozile Mbatha of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein (center), who sentenced the two farmers to five years in prison each.
The two men pleaded not guilty in the first instance.