Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson have been accused of shoving Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa man into a coffin while threatening to kill him. Picture: Itumeleng English

Mbombela – Tensions ran high on Friday outside the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga where two white men were appearing for allegedly assaulting a black man and forcing him into a coffin, as an unknown man was severely beaten by a mob.

The incident happened while Theo Martins Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen were applying for bail after they were arrested for allegedly assaulting Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa and shoving him into a coffin.

A scuffle broke out outside the court about 20 minutes after the court had adjourned for lunch. It was not immediately clear what caused the fracas but some people in the crowd said the victim was beaten after he threatened to stab some members of the African National Congress (ANC) with a knife.

The mob beat the man until he fell to the ground and then trampled on him and continued beating him with their fists. Others put a road signboard on him and repeatedly jumped on him while he lay on the ground.

The man later stood up and staggered through the crowd with his t-shirt pulled up and covering his face. He sustained a wound at the back of the head but was saved by the police from further attack, who took him away from the scene.

Police officers at the scene declined to comment and referred inquiries to the provincial spokesperson, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, but who could not immediately be reached for comment.

The bail hearing matter has been postponed to December 8.