Thoriso Themane's killers must be severely punished - Bheki Cele

2019-03-02 14:42
Minister Bheki Cele speaking at the funeral service of Thoriso Themane. (Supplied, SAPS Twitter)

Minister Bheki Cele speaking at the funeral service of Thoriso Themane. (Supplied, SAPS Twitter)

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National Police Minister Bheki Cele has instructed investigators to dig deeper into the case of Thoriso Themane who was murdered, allegedly by a group of pupils in Polokwane, Limpopo, last weekend.

Cele was trying to make sense of the connection between six teenage pupils arrested in connection with the murder, and three adult suspects, all aged 36.

Themane's blood body was discovered in a street in Flora Park, Polokwane, last weekend. The children, in Grades 9 and 10, were arrested on Tuesday while the three men were arrested on Thursday night.

Cele was speaking at the funeral of Themane, 28.

Also in attendance was Premier Stan Mathabatha, top national officers and other dignitaries in Polokwane on Saturday.

"I’m trying to find the links between a 16-year-old and a 36-year-old. I hope we are not starting to see the emergence of gangsterism [in Limpopo], because that should be left to the Western Cape," Cele said.

Read: 'It's a pain you can't explain' - father of mob murder victim Thoriso Themane

To applause, he said: "I will be speaking to the prosecution authorities and make a special request that there must be a significant and severe punishment of the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

"There is this thing that if you are underage, you must be released to your parents. If you can commit a crime at that particular age, it means your parents can’t take care of you."

Mathabatha also spoke of the need for a severe punishment of those responsible: "I did not know up to now that it was possible for an underage [accused] to get [a] maximum sentence."

He urged parents to be involved in the day-to-day lives of their children. 

Also read:10-year prison sentence for pupil who killed his teacher 

Themane, who played drums in a music band, was travelling from a rehearsal session when he was confronted by a group of pupils who then beat and kicked him last Saturday.

He succumbed to his injuries the following day.

A video of him being carried by a group of people had been circulating on social media.

In a tribute at the funeral, his father, Pastor MJ Themane, described him as a "responsible young man".

The suspects are to appear in court on Monday. 

Read more on:    bheki cele  |  polokwane  |  crime
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