LIMPOPO, South Africa – The Limpopo High Court was told on Thursday that one of the nine minors accused of the brutal murder of Thoriso Themane has since died.
The remaining eight accused, whose ages range from 13 to 16, appeared together with their two adult co-accused – Alfred Mothapo, 36, and Chuene Maleka, 37.
The case, which was held behind closed doors because it involved children, was postponed until 6 July.
National Prosecuting Authority provincial spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi told News24 outside court: “The case was postponed because the legal representatives of accused number 6 and 7 (who are minors) requested the State to furnish them with certain information.
“Due to the involvement of the minor accused, the trial is to be held in camera.”
Themane was attacked on 23 February 2019 in Polokwane. Footage of the fatal attack went viral on social media and led to protests in the city.
During the bail application in March last year, Mothapo told the court in a written statement that he had been with Maleka, visiting a friend in another section of Polokwane, when he received a distress call from his wife about an intruder at home.
On arrival, the “intruder”, who turned out to be Themane, had already left. He was later cornered at a local park, and looked disoriented and was bleeding.
At that time, several minors arrived and demanded a cellphone which they claimed the ” intruder” had stolen from one of them.
Mothapo then called the police who did not respond. The minors took the “intruder” away with them.