Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Polokwane - Five young suspects will appear in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Wednesday in connection with the brutal attack and murder of Thoriso Themane, police have said.

Themane, 27, died following an alleged mob attack on February 23 in Flora Park and video footage showing his brutal death has been circulating on social media. 

In one video, a group of unseen suspects can be seen dragging Themane's near lifeless body while in another, a bleeding Themane is seen being repeatedly kicked. 

According to Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, a community member found a severely injured Themane on Sunday.

He said Themane was rushed to hospital where he was certified dead on arrival.

Since then, five pupils aged between 15 and 16 were taken in for questioning, among them the son of a retired warrant officer. 

According to Sowetan, the son confessed to taking part in the assault to his father, saying it was initiated after the theft of a friend's cellphone.

He, however, denied that his son and his friends initiated the attack, saying they only joined in after two men began assaulting Themane when he ran into a woman's property as he was being chased. 

The man further refuted the insinuation that his son would be shielded from prosecution, this in reference to a video shared showing his son, a Capricorn High School pupil, reacting to the murder claim by saying he knew that his father was "untouchable". 

National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole meanwhile, condemned the brutal attack on Themane and commended Limpopo police for their speedy response. 

"Any act of vigilantism is as much criminal as the action of the person accused of committing a crime," he said.

"Vigilantism simply cannot be accepted as an approach to dealing with crime and criminals", added General Sitole.

The Limpopo department has also weighed in on the matter, saying it was "deeply horrified and saddened" by the incident. 

"Psycho-social team of the department has been dispatched to the school to provide the necessary counselling so that proper focus returns to teaching and learning while the law take its course on the matter," the department said.

The arrested Grade nine and ten pupils face a charge of murder.

IOL