Three more arrests for Thoriso Themane murder as video mom fears for child’s safety

01 March 2019 - 11:40 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Thoriso Themane
Thoriso Themane
Image: Thobane Mohlaloga via Facebook

Three adult suspects were arrested overnight in connection with the murder of Thoriso Themane in Flora Park, Polokwane, police confirmed on Friday.

Six teenagers appeared briefly in court on Thursday in connection with the attack on Themane on Saturday. He succumbed to his injuries on Sunday. The case was postponed to next week as police continue with their investigations.

Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said in a statement: "The police have arrested three more suspects, all aged 36, in connection with the murder of Thoriso."

"The three were arrested last night at different locations in Polokwane. This brings to nine the total number of suspects arrested so far. Police investigations are still continuing."

Meanwhile, the mother of a teenager who recorded one of the video clips associated with Themane says she fears for her family's safety after her child received death threats.

"I am scared for my life. For my family's safety," said the mother, who cannot be named to protect identity of the minor. The death threat came in a form of a WhatsApp note and stated the teen's funeral "would be next".

Following the threat, she opened a complaint of intimation at the Polokwane police station. Police confirmed to the Sowetan newspaper that a case had been opened on Wednesday.

The mother is anxious to hear back from an investigating officer.

"I've been waiting for the police to send a case number and investigate but they are just quiet... they could have contacted us if they wanted more information," she told TimesLIVE on Friday. 

Asked how her child was holding up, she frowned.

"(My child) is not doing well, (and) has not even been provided with any counselling...", she said.

Hundreds of people gathered at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Friday morning, from where they marched to the Polokwane police station to submit a memorandum of demands calling for justice for the slain Themane. 

A 23-year-old resident from Flora Park who joined the march said Themane was like a brother to them.

"What happened to him is tragic, he was like a brother to us in the neighbourhood. We are saying he deserves justice," said Mogale Sebata.

Sebata said the alleged perpetrators needed to be punished despite being minors. 

"I understand they are minors but what they did and how they did it is uncalled for and they should be trialled as adults."

The provincial commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, addressing the group of marchers who converged at the Polokwane police station to hand over the memorandum, expressed the commitment of the police in dealing with any violent crime.

"These speedy arrests are an indication that the police will not hesitate to take strong action against anyone who engages in any violent behavior that results in the death of another person,” said General Ledwaba.

He appealed to members of the public to give the police the necessary space to investigate this case without any hindrance. Ledwaba urged them to "instead assist the police by providing valuable information that will be helpful in cracking this case."

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