A heart-wrenching racist video showing a South African black man being forcibly and brutally shoved in a coffin by two white men has shocked a nation.

According to local reports, the incident, which involve Victor Rethabile Mlotshwa (victim of the assault), was filmed at JM De Beer Boerdery next to Komati Power Station, close to Middelburg in Mpumalanga.

In the vile and deeply disturbing video widely circulating on social media, Mlotshwa is brutally assaulted and shoved in a coffin, and Mlotshwa can be heard pleading with the tormentors, who make threats to douse him with petrol.

The gut-wrenching video has caused an outrage in South Africa. Social media has been up in arms and the alleged perpetrators of what has been dubbed the “coffin alive” racist incident have since been arrested and are on trial, charged with assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Two man accused  of the crime, Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson appeared in court today (16 November) in Middelburg, and will be in custody until January.

Video credit@GardeeGodrich

While the case has re-ignited tensions in the country, what is more disturbing is the frequency of such racially motivated incidents, exposing the deep racial divisions in South Africa. Racism appears to be endemic in the country and there have been numerous cases reported across the country in recent months.

Read: Education authorities to launch an inquiry into racial discrimination at Pretoria Girls High

In June, Penny Sparrow a white South African realtor was fined R150,000 (U.S$9,800) by the Equality Court in KwaZulu-Natal for racial remarks after she made disparaging comments comparing black people to monkeys, which constitute hate speech.

In another incident, Vicki Momberg a victim of a smash-and-grab crime was captured spewing insults at black police officers shouting: “One k***** is bad enough…The k*****s here in Johannnesburg are terrible”, “We got a low calibre people working. If I see a black person, I will drive them over. If I have a gun, I will shoot everyone”. The incident also caused a major public outrage and the public called for stiff penalties to perpetrators on racist and hate crimes.

Social media reactions to the racist video.