South African farmers convicted of attempted murder for forcing black man into a coffin 

South African farmers convicted of attempted murder for forcing black man into a coffin Two white farmers who forced an unemployed black man into a coffin and threatened to kill him have been jailed following a trial that has reignited debate about the legacy of apartheid in South Africa.  William Oosthuizen, 29 and Theo Jackson, 30, were found guilty of forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin and then threatening to douse him with petrol and set him alight. Their leave to appeal was dismissed.  Judge Sheila Mphahlele, said the two men showed “no remorse"  and that she wanted the sentence to send a “harsh” message to those in South Africa who still practiced racism.  "The most appalling act of the accused was to put the complainant in a coffin against his will. Whilst in the coffin they threatened to set it alight. They asked him how he wanted to die – quickly or slowly,” she said, summing up. The two were also found guilty of assaulting the only witness in an attempt to stop him from testifying against them. The Magistrates Court in Middelburg after being sentenced to more than a decade in prison Credit:  GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/ AFP Oosthuizen will serve 11 years in jail. Jackson, a father of three, was sentenced  to 14 years.  Oosthuizen and Jackson had pleaded not guilty to the charges after they were arrested last year in the small farming town of Middelberg, 100 miles east of Johannesburg.  They claimed they wanted to “teach Mr Mlotshwa a lesson,” after they came across him trying to steal cables on their farm. They also claimed he threatened to kill their families and burn their crops.  Mr Mlotswha reported the farmers to the police only after a 20-second video clip emerged on You Tube and went viral on social media.  Victor Mlotshwa attending the sentence of the two white farmers convicted of attempted murder Credit:  WIKUS DE WET/ AFP In the video Mr Mlotshwa begs for his life as he is pushed into the coffin.   One of the men pushes the lid of the coffin down while the other threatens to put petrol and a snake inside. According Afriforum, a civil rights group, at least 70 white commercial farmers have been murdered in South Africa so far this year. 

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