Thoriso Themane: More details about the death of one of the accused in murder case

Thoriso Themane (File/Twitter)
Thoriso Themane (File/Twitter)
  • One of the minors linked to Thoriso Themane's murder was stabbed to death by a fellow teen.
  • News24 understands the two teens were involved in a gang-related brawl at a tavern in Seshego, Limpopo, in March this year.
  • The 17-year-old was stabbed and died while waiting for an ambulance; the attacker, 17, was arrested and is awaiting trial in a juvenile prison.

More details have emerged about what led to the death of one of nine minors accused of killing Thoriso Themane.

News24 has learnt that one of the accused was stabbed to death, apparently after a late drunken brawl with another teenage boy outside a tavern in Seshego, Polokwane, in Limpopo.

His death was confirmed at the start of the trial of the Themane case in the Limpopo High Court last week when a death certificate was handed over to the court. 

News24 understands the stabbing incident happened at Ga-Willie Tavern in Seshego Zone 1 at about 23:00 earlier this year on 4 March.

The deceased minor was 17 and was accused number two in the Themane murder case. 

Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed the incident following a News24 enquiry. 

He said police officers on the day were on patrol in the area when they were stopped by an unidentified person, who alerted them to a stabbing incident at the tavern. 

"They then proceeded to the area, but before they could reach the tavern they were met by two people carrying the victim. He had died while waiting for the ambulance. 

"The deceased was positively identified as one of the accused standing trial for murdering Thoriso Themane," Mojapelo said. 

He said a 17-year-old teen has since been arrested and is currently at a juvenile prison awaiting trial. 

Though Mojapelo could not identify the motive for the stabbing, News24 can reveal that the deceased minor was a member of a criminal gang, known as "Madura Squad", that comprised of young boys. 

It is understood that the two teen boys were from rival gangs. 

Themane was brutally attacked at a surburb in Polokwane on 23 February 2019. The fatal attack was captured on video, which went viral and led to protests in the city. 

Nine minors and two adults, Alfred Mothapo, 36, and Chuene Maleka, 37, were later arrested. 

The remaining eight accused minors and the two adults, who are all out on bail, appeared again in court on Monday and their trial was postponed to 18 January next year. 

It has also been learnt that two minors have turned state witness. 

The Thoriso Themane Foundation chairperson Kevin Pohotona, who is also the spokesperson for the Themane family, said the stabbing incident has vindicated their earlier opposition to bail. 

"We protested, saying that some of the minor accused are involved in gangs. It was best for them to have stayed in a place of safety until the end of trial," Pohotona said. 

He also questioned the presence of the deceased minor in Seshego because one of the bail conditions was that all minor accused be moved out of the Polokwane area until the end of the trial. 

"Now the child has lost his life and the state speaks as if it's nothing. The state speaks as if it was a natural death," Pohotona said. 

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) provincial spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said the presence of the killed minor in the Polokwane area would be investigated.

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