Four teens found guilty of murdering aspiring Limpopo musician Thoriso Themane

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Thoriso Themane.
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  • Four teens have been found guilty of killing aspiring musician Thoriso Themane.
  • Two others were convicted of common assault, and two adults for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
  • Themane's family said they would only find peace when they knew what the sentence was for his murder.

Four teenagers accused of the brutal attack on aspiring musician Thoriso Themane were on Wednesday found guilty of his murder in the Polokwane High Court in Limpopo.

Two other teens were found guilty of common assault after submitting a plea statement admitting to slapping Themane and kicking him out of their car.

Two adults, Chuene Maleka and Alfred Mothapo, were found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. 

The 23-year-old Themane was attacked by a group of teenagers in the Polokwane surburb of Fauna Park on 23 February 2019. He succumbed to his injuries in hospital the following day.

READ | Testimony about Thoriso Themane's last hours alive leaves courtroom in tears

The trial, before Deputy Judge President Violet Semenya, was held behind closed doors because there were minors involved. 

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi told the media that the judge was satisfied with the doctrine of common purpose regarding the four teenagers convicted of murder.

She said the judge had found that they were involved in all stages of the attack, which started in a park.

The court earlier heard that four teens - including a girl - had been drinking alcohol when they decided to leave for home at around 18.00.

Along the way, they met Themane who had appeared "tipsy" and had a handle of a mop with him. He had then allegedly asked for R2 and proceeded to hit a girl with a mop handle before he was attacked.

Locked

Themane then ran to a nearby church, but found the gate locked - with the group of teenagers in pursuit. 

He ran down the street, before trying to get into an oncoming vehicle driven by two teenagers. The two teens had slapped him and kicked him out of the car, before leaving the scene. 

The initial group of teenagers then continued to assault Themane until he ran into a house, which happened to belong to Mothapo.

Mothapo, who was visiting a friend with Maleka, rushed back home after a frantic call from his wife that there was an intruder.

The intruder happened to be Themane, who the teenagers had accused of stealing a cellphone and a cap from one of them.

The court heard that Mothapo and Maleka joined in the attack of Themane. However, they later called the police, who did not respond. 

At the time, Themane ran to another house with the teenagers in pursuit.

READ | How I cracked the Rosemary Ndlovu case - meet the cop who put serial killer in jail

The assault continued in the yard of that house, where one of the teens called another group to come and witness how "the Big Five commits murder".

Eleven people were arrested for the murder. One teen was later killed outside a tavern in Seshego, while others turned State witnesses. 

Sentencing is expected to start on 24 February 2022.

Family spokesperson Karabo Themane told News24 that, although the guilty finding was welcomed, it was still too early "for the family to find peace".

"The sentencing is the one that will speak volumes. We might feel good now only to find the sentencing is lenient. 

"Our peace will come when we know how heavy the sentence is," he said.

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