Thoriso Themane. Picture via Twitter

Polokwane - Five schoolboys are expected to appear in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Thursday in connection with the brutal killing of local musician Thoriso Themane.

Themane, 27, was assaulted and left for dead on Saturday night in the Flora Park suburb. An oblivious Themane was returning home from music practice at church when he was accosted and attacked. Police said he was found on Sunday and taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The schoolboys aged between 15 and 16 were arrested on Wednesday after video clips of the attack, which they shot themselves, went viral on social media.

Two gruesome clips showed a  bleeding Themane being dragged, punched and kicked. The second clip showed his apparently lifeless body being dragged along a street. 

A third clip showed one of the arrested boys inside school premises. The boy, wearing a school uniform, boasted about the killing while being recorded, saying that nothing would happen to him as his father was "untouchable". The boy's father is a retired police officer.

Themane's death drew a widespread outcry and condemnation. National police commissioner General Khehla Sitole also condemned the attack and called on communities to work with the police rather than taking the law into their own hands.  

An online petition started on Monday to demand justice for Themane had over 53 000 signatures by Thursday morning. Themane's father, who is a pastor, told television news channel eNCA that his son was a compassionate young man who loved his music.

''He would always share whatever he has with others. He was very giving...myself and his mother always reprimanded him for giving away too much that he was left with nothing. He was that kind of a boy,'' said Mahlapahlapa Themane. 

African News Agency/ANA