Three people accused of the brutal murder of Thoriso Thamane presented themselves to the police when they heard that they were on a list of suspects wanted in connection with the murder case.
This emerged during their appearance in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Monday where they face a charge of murder. The accused are Chuene Maleka, 36, and Russia Chabangu and Alfred Mothapo, both aged 37 years.
The three appeared separately from five school pupils who were arrested in connection with the same killing. However, because they are minor, they appear separately and the proceedings are in camera.
Defence lawyer M Mokgotho said that the three adult accused called the police themselves when they heard they were on the list of wanted suspects. They were taken into police custody on Thursday night.
Mokgotho revealed this while arguing against the State’s application to have the case postponed to next week.
“The accused are the ones who presented themselves to the police and told them all that happened. It will be unreasonable that they have to wait for a long period for a bail application. They must be given an opportunity for bail this week,” Mokgotho said.
But prosecutor Disebo Kgoeleya said the court diary was congested and submitted that the matter should be postponed to a date late next week.
Magistrate Maharaj Prakash postponed the case to Monday, March 11 for a bail hearing.
The five minors are expected to return to the Children’s Court on March 14 for their bail application.
Meanwhile, provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has confirmed that the 15-year-old who boasted in a viral video that he was “untouchable” because his father was a senior police officer, is facing another murder charge.
He apparently stabbed a 16-year-old schoolboy in December last year.
Ledwaba said: “We are aware of that case. There was a counter-charge that was laid and both will be taken to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) for a decision [on whether to prosecute or not].”
He also clarified that a sixth minor, who was reported to have been arrested last week, was only taken for questioning and was not charged.
He did not rule out the possibility of more arrests in the Themane murder case.
Themane was killed earlier this month in Flora Park, Polokwane.
The incident was filmed and went viral on social media, causing outrage.
He was buried on Saturday in Polokwane and National Police Minister Bheki Cele attended.