Coffin case verdict is double standards

Die Vryburger

Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson -Image - Die Vryburger

The FF Plus believes that the sentences imposed on two men in the so-called ‘coffin case’ are excessive and that it creates double standards that can raise racial polarization in South Africa, said Dr. Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus.

Dr. Groenewald said it has long been clear that the two men, Theo Jackson (14 years of imprisonment) and Willem Oosthuizen (11 years effectively) were convicted and sentenced by the community before the verdict.

According to Dr. Groenewald, many recent court rulings clearly indicate the double standards with punishment.

“In the event when a white school girl, Bernadine Kruger, died a few years ago after the court found that a black taxi driver followed her “intentionally “over two lanes and knocked her off her scooter, the initial charge was reckless and negligent driving.”

“Only after intervention and representations of the FF Plus, the charge was changed to murder. Magistrate Edmund Patterson even said in his statement that it was a clear and deliberate murder, and ‘not a mistake or negligence.’ The sentence handed down was only eight years.”

“In the recent KFC case, three out of five white accused have only received bail after ten weeks, and they are charged with attempted murder while there are various versions of the incident, and who first started the struggle.”

“In another incident in August this year, a woman, Carien van Staden, was shot by a black soldier who tried to push her and a friend off their motorcycle. She was shot when she confronted the man. Although her friend made a video of the incident, the accused was not even arrested.”

“In the coffin case, no one was killed or seriously injured, and the impression was created that the court imposed these excessive penalties on sending out a message that white racism toward blacks would be severely punished. The problem with racism is that it cuts both sides and there is also something like black on white racism.”

“Racial polarization in South Africa is becoming more and more important, and institutions that form part of the criminal justice system, such as the police and the judiciary, must set an example of impartiality.”

“However, the sentence in the coffin case proves the contrary, and if it is not rectified in an appeal, it will create more polarization and severely harm racial relations in the country,” said Dr. Groenewald.

Read the original article in Afrikaans on Die Vryburger
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