Coffin farmworker was placed in was used to scare thieves off farm‚ court hears

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins during their court appearance for the infamous coffin case yesterday . Photo: Veli Nhlapo
Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins during their court appearance for the infamous coffin case yesterday . Photo: Veli Nhlapo

One of the men accused of assaulting Victor Mlotshwa and placing him in a coffin‚ said the coffin was used to scare thieves off his employer’s farm.

Theo Jackson told the court‚ through his lawyer‚ that the coffin was used for “ulterior motives“.

His previous employer‚ Johannes De Beer‚ had earlier on Monday told the court that the coffin was bought by his father for his employees.

He said the coffin was kept in the store room on the farm.

Jackson‚ however‚ said De Beer had told him that he had used the coffin to scare off people who were stealing mealies.

“Two months before the incident‚ accused 1 [Jackson] assisted you to apprehend persons who were picking up mealies on the farm.

“He says that after you apprehended the persons‚ he left you with them and carried on with his job.

“The two of you met again and you told him that you had used the coffin to scare those people‚” Jackson’s lawyer Advocate Wayne Gibbs put it to De Beer.

De Beer denied that he had used the coffin to scare the thieves off‚ saying he merely negotiated with them and asked them to bring him the person they were selling the mealies to.

“I did not scare them off with the coffin‚” De Beer said.

De Beer was also grilled by Jackson’s co-accused Willem Oosthuizen’s lawyer‚ Org Basson‚ on why he did not mention to the court in his evidence in chief that he had sent Oosthuizen the video clip of the incident and that he had told him to destroy the coffin.

“You said to him‚ ‘ get rid of that thing‚ you are making sh*t’‚” Basson said to De Beer.

De Beer confirmed that he had sent the clip and the message to Oosthuizen.

Basson asked him why he only told the court that he had told Jackson to keep the coffin.

“On the one hand you instruct him to destroy the coffin‚ on the other you say ‘it’s yours‚ take it.’

“You saw that the proverbial worms are creeping out‚” said Basson.

Jackson and Oosthuizen are on trial in the High Court sitting at Delmas Magistrate’s Court.

They face charges of attempted murder‚ two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm‚ kidnapping‚ intimidation‚ unlawful possession of a firearm and defeating the ends of justice.

The men have both pleaded not guilty on all charges.

The case will resume on Tuesday sit at the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X