Covid-19 delays Thoriso Themane murder trial involving six pupils

The murder trial of six learners and two adults accused of the February 2019 murder of Thoriso Themane was postponed to Monday at the high court in Limpopo, the National Prosecuting Authority said.

Themane, a 28-year-old local musician, was allegedly assaulted by the group of high school pupils and left for dead in Polokwane’s Flora Park suburb. According to the NPA spokesperson, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, the students and co-accused adults group appeared at the court recently.

“The murder trial… was postponed to 25 January, 2021 in the Limpopo High Court after the defence lawyer of accused three was on quarantine due to Covid-19,” she said.

Themane was returning home from music practice at church when he was accosted and attacked, allegedly by a mob of teenage boys. Various videos of the brutal attack, allegedly recorded by the assailants, were shared on social media platforms.

The South African Police Service said after the attack Themane was taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Shortly after that, five teenagers were arrested on February 25, followed by the arrest of the sixth suspect, also a teenager, the following day. One of the teenagers has since been released as she could not be linked to the crime.

A few days later, three adults were arrested on February 28, followed by the arrest of another teenager on March 1. The last suspect, a 13-year-old boy, was arrested on March 8, 2019.

Malabi-Dzhangi said the trial would be held in camera because most of the accused were minor children.

“All minor children were released under parental care. The two adults are out on bail,” she said.

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