Lawyer denies trio in murder of Thorisho Themane

Eight people have been arrested for the murder of Thorisho Themane.
Eight people have been arrested for the murder of Thorisho Themane.
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The three men accused of the murder of Thorisho Themane, 28, could not have been involved in the killing as one of them alerted police to the crime.

The men's lawyer, M. Mokgoto, yesterday told the Polokwane magistrate's court the tip-off to the police was done through a cellphone belonging to one of the accused.

The three men, aged between 36 and 37, were appeared before magistrate Prakash Maharaj for the murder of Themane in Flora Park, Polokwane.

"My clients are ready to apply for bail because they have been cooperating with the police," Mokgoto said.

"These men didn't only report the incident to the police, they further handed themselves over to the police after hearing that they were wanted. I submit that these suspects called the police [to report the incident] and evidence had been presented to police."

Mokgoto said the state was dragging its feet in profiling the suspects because it could have obtained their fingerprints over the weekend.

Prosecutor Disebo Kgoelenya told the court the state was opposing bail for further investigation.

"There is an identity parade still to be held and the state is yet to establish whether the suspects have previous cases," Kgoelenya said.

Maharaj barred the media from taking pictures of the three because an identity parade was yet to be conducted.

Maharaj postponed the case to Monday for a formal bail application.

Meanwhile, the five teenagers also arrested in connection with Themane's killing were remanded in police custody yesterday.

The pupils from Flora Park, Capricorn and Tom Naude high schools appeared in camera and will apply for bail on Thursday next week.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said the case has since been referred to the Polokwane children's court for their bail application.

"The teenagers say they intend not to plead guilty as they were not responsible for the murder," she said.

Malabi-Dzhangi said the number of suspects arrested for the murder stood at eight and not nine as initially reported.

"A female suspect was not arrested but was only taken in for questioning and has turned state witness," she said.

Sowetan understands that the woman is the one whose voice could be heard on the video clip of the murder incident, begging the attackers to stop assaulting Themane.

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