The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) added its voice to the condemnation of the “shocking racial attack in Mpumalanga referred to as the ‘coffin assault’ ”.
“We condemn this racist incident in which Victor Mlotshwa was kidnapped‚ forced inside a coffin and threatened with his life‚” SAJBD spokesperson Alana Baranov said.
Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Martins Jackson will remain in custody until at least January 25 after they declined to apply for bail‚ saying they feared for their lives‚ in the Middelburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Baranov said: “This terrible event once again highlights the need for increased awareness and education on the scourge of hate crimes.
“Legislation on hate crimes would not only combat and assist in the prevention of incidences of hate but allow for formal monitoring of cases which would provide important data on the scale of this important issue.”
He urged South Africans to give their input on the proposed Prevention of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill – the deadline for submissions is January 31‚ 2017.
The deadline was originally December 1‚ but Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery told Radio 702 it had been extended following requests from a number of organisations.
Baranov said: “Acts of humiliation and hate have no place in a multi-cultural and democratic South Africa and we call on all concerned citizens to speak out on incidences of racism and discrimination wherever they take place.”