Four of the six minors charged with the murder of, Thoriso Themane, have been found guilty of murder by the Polokwane High Court. 23-year-old Themane was assaulted by a group of minors in the Polokwane suburb of Fauna Park on February 23, 2019.
The attack was captured by a cellphone video and went rival, sending shockwaves throughout the country.
Police investigations into Themane’s murder led to the arrest of 14 suspects, including two adults. The list was trimmed to just eight suspects when investigations continued.
Four teenagers were eventually convicted of Themane’s murder.
Two other teenagers pleaded guilty to assault and were convicted on the charge.
The two adults, Chuene Maleka and Alfred Mothapo were found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The National Prosecution Authority’s spokesperson in Limpopo, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi says the matter has been postponed to February 2022 for pre-sentencing.
“The murder trial of six young offenders and six adults who assaulted Thoriso Themane in 2019 were found guilty in the Polokwane High Court as follows: the four young offenders were convicted of murder after the court satisfied itself with the doctrine of common purpose. They never distanced themselves, the other two young offenders in the beginning of the trial rendered a guilty plea on assault charge. They said they realised that they should leave the group after realising that there was no reason to assault the deceased. The two adults were convicted of grievous bodily harm. The matter has been postponed to February in 2022 for pre-sentencing.”
Malabi-Dzhangi says the court will look at various factors when sentencing the offenders in February next year.
“We are dealing with children. So, obviously, the court will look at the Child Justice Act. They can get direct imprisonment because it is a serious offense. They have never shown any remorse and the court can also look at that.”
The trial was held on camera because some of the accused are minors. The court heard that a group of teenagers came across Themane at a park in Fauna Park where they started assaulting him.
Two of the teenagers admitted in court to slapping and kicking Themane.
During the trial, the two adults denied taking part in the murder. They told the court that they called the police to come and stop the assault, but the police did not arrive.
Themane was taken to the Polokwane Provincial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries a day after the attack.
Thoriso Themane | Judgment has been delivered in the murder case against 6 teenagers and 2 adults: