Themanes blame police for missing court appearance of Thorisho's attackers

Thorisho Themane's mother says police were inflicting more pain on the family of the murdered man.
Thorisho Themane's mother says police were inflicting more pain on the family of the murdered man.
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The mother of Thorisho Themane, the Limpopo man who died two months ago after he was brutally attacked by a group of pupils in Flora Park, Polokwane, is angry that she was not told about the court appearance of the men arrested for the murder of her son.

Maria Themane told Sowetan on Tuesday that the family was assured that they would be kept up to date with developments about the case, including the court appearances.

She said, however, she only learnt over the news that the people arrested for her son's murder appeared in court on Tuesday.

“There was an agreement between us and the police that as a family we would be kept abreast with developments on the case, especially with regards to the court appearance of the people arrested for my son's killing. This was meant to ensure that we are able to attend the proceedings. But I was shocked to hear from the radio news that there was a court appearance of those people because no one had told us,” said the grieving mother.

She said upon hearing about the appearance of the suspects in the Polokwane magistrate's court, she called a certain General Sam Manala, the deputy provincial commissioner for detectives, to find out about the failure to keep the family informed.

“I was surprised when Manala told me that he had sent one of his colleagues to come and inform us. But that information never reached us, hence we were taken aback.”

She blamed the police for playing with their emotions, saying they were inflicting more pain on the family.

“I want the police to come to my house and explain why they failed to report to us about the court appearance. And the explanation must be done tonight [Tuesday] at 7pm. Failure to do so would mean they do not want to work with us. But only God knows,” said Themane.

Manala maintained that he had sent one of his colleagues to inform the family.

“I had sent the investigating officer on the matter to go and inform the Themane family about the court appearance of the suspects. I also got a report back that the family had been informed, hence there was a family representative in court when the suspects appeared,” said Manala, adding that the officer would visit the family again to inform them of the postponement of the case.

“I'm going to send the investigating officer to inform the Themane family that the case is coming up again tomorrow.”

The seven suspects are expected to continue their bail application on Wednesday.

Thorisho was attacked on February 23 near the Flora Park dam. The video of his attack went viral after it was captured on cellphone and circulated on social media.

The 28-year-old died a day later at the Polokwane Hospital.

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