Six minors, two adults found guilty of musician Thoriso Themane’s murder
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Pretoria - Four minors charged with the death of aspiring musician Thoriso Themane, 23, were found guilty of murder by the Polokwane High Court yesterday.
Two of their accomplices who are also minors had in the beginning of the trial tendered a guilty plea statement for assault.
They were convicted of common assault while the adults, Chuene Maleka and Alfred Mothapo, were convicted for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The State alleged that Maleka and Mathapo together with the six teenagers fatally assaulted Themane in 2019 in the Polokwane suburb of Fauna Park after the minors accused him of taking a cap belonging to one of them.
Themane’s murder was recorded on a cellphone, with the footage going viral on social media.
The trial was held in camera because the offenders are minors.
According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mashudu Malabi- Dzhangi the case was postponed to February 24 for presentencing.
Speaking to Pretoria News yesterday Malabi-Dzhangi said: “Of the six teenagers, the four were found guilty after the court was satisfied with the doctrine of common purpose as they never distanced themselves even when one of them was inviting others to join them.
“The other two who had tendered a plea bargain in which in their statement they had submitted said that they realised that they should leave the group because there was no reason of assaulting the deceased.”
Mothapo and Maleka had denied any involvement in the attack. In their evidence, they said they had tried to call the police to stop the attack but the police did not arrive.
Closing their arguments on Tuesday before Judge Violet Semenya, lawyers based their remarks on the level of involvement of all the accused.
The State, led by senior prosecutor Mashudu Mudau, on Tuesday submitted that all minor accused were directly linked to the murder charge.
The prosecutor based his argument on evidence that the six minors were involved from the initial stage of the attack on the musician.