Two white South African farmers who forced a black man into a coffin have been convicted on 25 August of attempted murder and kidnapping.

Victor Mlotshwa, 27, was beaten and forced into a coffin by farmers Theo Martins Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen last year. A video showing the incident went viral.

The pair have yet to be sentenced. They had denied the charges at the High Court in Delmas, east of Johannesburg.

The case has caused outrage in South Africa and highlighted racial tensions in the country's farming communities.

In the video, the farmers can be seen trying to cram Mlotshwa into the wooden box and force down the lid as he whimpers in fear. The pair suspected him of stealing mielies (corn on the cobs).

As well as threatening to pour petrol on the labourer and set him alight, the two farmers were said to have threatened to put a snake in the coffin.

The incident took place near the Komati power station in Mpumpalanga in the north of the country on 17 August 2016.

Investigating officer, Constable Dimakatso Bahula, told the court that Mlotshwa noticed two Land Cruisers following him on that day. The vehicles stopped and two men assaulted and kicked him without explanation, he said.

But the defence said their clients had caught Mlotshwa with stolen goods on private property, namely copper wire, and wanted to scare him to prevent further thefts.

Both the accused, who are foremen on different farms in Middelburg, said after they detained Mlotshwa, they told him they would take him to the police.

But the alleged thief then threatened to burn down the farm's crops and murder the wives and children of the accused, the court heard earlier.

The defendants admitted it was then that they decided to take Mlotshwa to a remote area in order to "convince" him not to go through with his alleged threats. They forced him into a coffin as a scare tactic, they said.

They claimed the coffin had been used before by the farm's owner to frighten thieves from stealing mielies.