AFRICA NOW: White South Africans Sentenced for Coffin Assault

Two white South African farmers were sentenced to prison for forcing a Black man into a coffin and threatening to burn him alive.

Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen, who were convicted in August of forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a wooden coffin, were sentenced Friday to 14 years and 11 years, respectively, in prison for attempted murder, kidnapping, assault and intimidation, despite their claim that Mlotshwa was a thief trespassing on their land.

In court, Mlotshwa tearily recounted his attempt to reach the market to buy vendor goods for his mother. A two-minute video of the assault was released, showing his attackers threatening to throw in a snake and burn him alive as he lay with his hands in prayer, begging for his life.

African-American Museum Director Opens Up About Race

Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) recently held an open forum titled “The Challenge of Building a National Museum.”

Part of a two-day program with Penn State University, the Nov. 1 lecture at the school’s Freeman Auditorium of the HUB-Robeson Center gave graduate students in the College of the Liberal Arts and additional attendees a chance to openly discuss the role of African-American historical studies in contemporary culture and education.

“There is a great need to help Americans understand that the history of slavery matters because so much of our complex and troubling struggle to find racial equality has been shaped by slavery,” said Bunch, who also provides strategic leadership in areas of fundraising, collections and academic and cultural partnerships for the institution.

Ugandan Police Puzzled by Women’s Murders

An alarming number of women have mysteriously been killed across Uganda this year, authorities said.

To date, Uganda officials have reported a total of 23 murders, although some believe the numbers may be higher.

The first few murders initially reported in May went virtually unnoticed “perhaps because the victims are all low-income women, and women are never a priority in this country,” Sandra Nassali, a representative of the local organization ACFODE, said in a statement.

The most recent body found was that of 22-year-old waitress Sarah Neliima, who was discovered Sep. 20.

Police still aren’t sure why these incidents are happening, but have offered several theories including domestic violence, unemployment, drug abuse, criminal gang activity, witchcraft and prostitution.

However, local residents are skeptical of the explanations, chiding the tendency to besmirch the victim’s character when it is a woman.

The investigations are ongoing.

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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