'Racist' farmers sentenced to prison over coffin case

Middelburg, South Africa - A court in South Africa has sentenced two white farmers found guilty of kidnapping, assault and intent to do grievous bodily harm to more than 10 years in prison after they shoved a black man in a coffin and threatened to set him on fire.

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson were sentenced to 11 and 14 years in jail, respectively.

Sentencing proceedings, which had been postponed since Monday, were heard at the Middelburg Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The court fell silent as the heavy sentences was handed out.

Family members of Oosthuizen and Jackson sat together in court and cried.

The case has shocked the country and seen an outpouring of support for the victim, Victor Mlothshwa.

Defence lawyers representing the accused men had earlier asked the court to be lenient, alleging that Mlothshwa was riding a wave of public outrage ever since the video of him being assaulted in a coffin went viral in 2016.

Though they argued that the men, who are white farmers, were sorry for the consequences of their actions, the prosecution argued that the accused had shown little remorse.

The final judgement is expected to have far-reaching consequences for race relations in the country.

The incident, which took place in August 2016, caught the country's attention after mobile phone footage went viral..read more

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