Middelburg - Theo Martins Jackson, one of the two men accused of assaulting and shoving farmworker Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin on a farm near Middelburg in Mpumalanga late last year, burnt the coffin after the incident, the Middelburg High Court heard on Thursday.
Jackson testified during the trial that he was instructed by his former employer, Johannes de Beer, to burn the coffin. He was working on a farm co-owned by De Beer and his father at the time.
“He [De Beer] phoned and asked me what I did while he was away and I told him I did nothing,” said Jackson.
“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 it. I took the coffin to the ditch where the incident happened and burnt it.”
Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen were arrested late last year and they face charges including attempted murder, kidnapping, intimidation and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. The incident was captured on a video that went viral on social media.
Jackson told the court that he made a video of the incident on his cellphone, but his wife told him to delete the video immediately after she saw it so their children would not see. He said they often played with his phone.
He and Oosthuizen placed Mlotshwa into a coffin in order to scare him after he allegedly threatened to kill their wives and children, Jackson said.