This followed reports that Kwanele Jacobs, Luvuyo Manyathela and Kwanele Ntyontyo were allegedly affiliated to the Villa Nova gang in KTC and had been attacked on Thursday at the NY5 cemetery by an unknown group from the neighbouring Barcelona informal settlement.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said robbery could not be ruled out as a motive.
Councillor Khaya Yozi said it emerged the teenagers were innocent, following a meeting between councillors, street committees, investigators and other community safety groups on Monday. He said the families were owed an apology.
“The official report from the police is that this is pure thuggery and not related to gangsterism,” said Yozi.