A policeman has accused two Mpumalanga men of trying to conceal evidence after they allegedly tried to burn a man alive in a coffin.
On Friday detective Dimakatso Bahula dropped a bombshell in court when she revealed that the accused — Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson — allegedly tried to hide evidence from her.
Bahula‚ who continues to testify on Monday‚ is presenting evidence in the racially charged case in a special high court sitting in Middelburg.
Oosthuizen and Jackson are accused of attacking and forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin before threatening to set it alight.
Bahula told the court on Friday that Oosthuizen had failed to produce the cellphone that he had used to capture himself and Jackson forcing Mlotshwa into the coffin.
“He said the phone was snatched by thieves from his wife in Middelburg‚” Bahula said.
She said Oosthuizen told her this during a consultation she had with the accused after their arrest in November in the presence of their lawyer.
But several days ago Oosthuizen produced the phone in court. It contains a two-minute long video clip of the incident.
The footage shows a conversation between the accused and Mlotshwa while he is in the coffin.
The men are heard accusing Mlotshwa of stealing copper cables and questioning him about whether he will do it again.
He begs for mercy‚ saying he won’t.
Mlotshwa last week testified that he had known nothing about stolen goods. He claimed to have told them what they wanted to hear as he wanted them to spare his life.
Jackson and Oosthuizen claim they had no intention of killing Mlotshwa and never assaulted him. Instead‚ they claim they wanted to teach him a lesson to deter him from crime and to scare him into not carrying out threats that he would burn their crops and kill their wives and children if they took him to the police.