White men arrested for forcing black man into a coffin


by Staff writer

Two white South African men appeared in court on Wednesday on charges of assault and kidnapping after a video showed them forcing a wailing black man into a coffin.

The 20-second video, which was widely circulated on social media, shows Victor Rethabile cowering inside a coffin as one man pushes a lid on his head and the other threatens to put petrol and a snake inside the casket.

Rethabile escaped, although it is not clear how. He told reporters outside court he wanted justice.

“They were accusing me of trespassing. They beat me up and forced me into the coffin,” he said.

The case has caused outrage in a country where deep racial divides persist 22 years after the fall of apartheid.

The two accused, Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson, appeared briefly in the Middelburg Magistrate court east of the capital Pretoria before the case was postponed until January 25. The men will remain in custody until the case resumes.

Theo Martins and Willem Oosthuizen (R) appear in court after an online video emerged showing them pushing a black man into a coffin and threatening to burn him alive, at the Middleburg magistrates High Court, in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, November 16, 2016. 

The radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, which campaigns for a more even distribution of wealth between white and black South Africans, led a rally outside the court.

“This humiliation can be based on nothing else but his blackness, which means it is in actual fact a humiliation of black people as a whole,” the EFF said in a statement.

Black people make up 80 percent of South Africa’s 54 million population yet most of the economy remains in the hands of white people, who account for about 8 percent of the population.

Image Credit: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Share this post with your friends:


3 thoughts on “White men arrested for forcing black man into a coffin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Can black people be racist?

Wed Nov 16 , 2016
by Mikaela Sifuentes Yes, anybody can espouse racism, regardless of the color of your skin. Anybody can use racist speech and actions that are damaging to others. You can even be racist within your own race (in people-of-color communities people with darker skin are sometimes discriminated against), or against your […]