Coffin destroyed by accused after the incident


One of the two men accused of shoving farmworker Vincent Mlotshwa into a coffin admitted to destroying it shortly after the incident, the Middelburg High Court heard on Thursday.

Theo Martins Jackson told the court that he burned the coffin on instruction from his former employer. Jackson was employed by Johannes de Beer, who co-owned the farm he worked on with his father.

"He [De Beer] phoned and asked me what I did while he was away and I told him I did nothing," Jackson said.

"He sent me a short video and asked me what was in it, and told me to get rid of the coffin. He said I must get rid of it because there was a problem about [sic] it.

"I took the coffin to the ditch where the incident happened and burnt it," he told the court.

Jackson admitted to making a video of the incident on his cellphone, but that his wife warned him to delete it immediately after seeing it, to prevent their children from seeing it as they often played with his phone.

Jackson said he and his co-accused, Willem Oosthuizen, put Mlotshwa in the coffin to scare him after he reportedly threatened their families.

A video of the incident went viral on social media.

The two were arrested late last year and face charges including attempted murder, kidnapping, intimidation and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.