- Four minors have been found guilty for the murder of aspiring Limpopo musician Thoriso Themane
- Themane was assaulted by a group of teenagers in an area of Fauna Park, Polokwane, in February 2019
- Two adults, Chuene Maleka and Alfred Mothapo were also convicted of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm
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POLOKWANE - South Africans are satisfied with the judgement in the murder case of aspiring musician Thoriso Themane, who was brutally assaulted by a group of minors in Fauna Park, Polokwane, in February 2019.
The incident was recorded in a video that subsequently went viral on social media, along with images of Thoriso's battered and bruised body. The Polokwane High Court has now passed judgement in the matter more than two and a half years since that fateful day.
Briefly News understands that four of the six minors involved were on Wednesday found guilty of murder. SABC News reported that investigations had initially resulted in the arrest of 14 suspects, among them two older men.
Six suspects were later ruled out, leaving only eight to answer for the savage attack on Themane. Other than the four teenagers who've now been convicted of murder, two others were found guilty of assault after they pled guilty to the charge.
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Chuene Maleka and Alfred Mothapo, the two adults implicated in the matter, were found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, News24 reported.
Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Limpopo said the matter has been postponed to February 2022 for pre-sentencing. She added that various factors will be considered by the court when sentencing resumes.
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“Since it is children that are being dealt with, the court will take the Child Justice Act into account [as part of the legal considerations in the case]. The minors in question can get direct imprisonment due to the serious nature of the crime," said Malabi-Dzhangi.
Deceased attempted to escape
The court heard the teenagers had crossed paths with the deceased at a park before assaulting him. Themane then attempted to run into a nearby church but arrived at a locked gate.
Moments later, Themane was chased down by the group that had been in pursuit. They continued to assault him until he ran into a house, which happened to belong to Mothapo.
The latter rushed back to his residence with Maleka, with whom he'd been visiting a friend, after a frantic call from his wife in which stated that there was an intruder at the home.
Mothapo and Maleka subsequently joined in the attack before reportedly attempting to contact the South African Police Service (SAPS) following the assault on the deceased, to no avail, after Themane was accused of theft by the teenagers.
South Africans react to verdict
Locals who'd been invested in the case were as vocal as ever on social media, with one half celebrating the judgement while others lamented the length of time it took to reach this phase of the court process.
Briefly News takes a look at all the reactions to the development below.
@Sharmyn Sello Matsetela wrote:
"Finally our cousin o humane justice."
@Smangaliso Nwa'na Mamedzha said:
"Justice has been served, now u can rest well homey."
@Siyabonga Nyambuti Thomson added:
"Law breakers should know that after this judgement Jesus Christ is coming to judge everyone."
Brits sentenced to 25 years for masterminding husband's murder
In related news, Briefly News previously reported that sentencing was handed down in the Upington High Court in the murder trial of Suretha Brits, the wife of slain Pofadder hotelier Leon Brits, on 15 November.
Briefly News obtained exclusive insight into the matter involving Suretha and her two co-accused, Amatle Bareki and Enrich Williams, following the former's conviction.
The proceedings against the two men, who are facing murder and aggravated robbery charges, resumed in the same court on 22 November. A third accomplice in the matter, Jacques van Vuuren, was sentenced in the Kimberley High Court earlier this year after he'd entered into a plea agreement with the State.
Source: Briefly News