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One suspect acquitted in the Thoriso Themane murder case

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The State has dropped charges against one of the adult suspects in the Thoriso Themane murder case.

A video documenting the assault and subsequent murder of a man went viral on social media platforms and caused a nationwide outcry. South Africans later learned that the bloodied face on the video belonged to 26-year-old Thoriso Themane.

In the video that went viral on the week of 25 February 2019, several teenagers could be seen kicking Themane’s bloody face, while laughter could be heard in the background. The ordeal took place in Flora Park, Polokwane.

In total, ten suspects have been arrested in connection to Themane’s murder. Three are adult men between the ages of 36 and 37, while the remaining seven are high school pupils. The youngest arrest is of a 13-year-old, who is due to appear at the Gauteng Children’s Court this afternoon, 11 March 2019.

The National Prosecuting Authority announced today the acquittal of 36-year-old Russia Chabangu. As yet, no reason for the acquittal has been given by the court. The two remaining adults, Chuene Maleka and Alfred Mothapo, had their bail applications heard by Magistrate Maharaj Prakash, who subsequently granted them an unopposed bail of R1 000 each.

The lawyer of the adult duo, John Makgotho, argued that the accused were not a flight risk. Investigating officer Lieutenant-Colonel Ngwako Raophala also gave evidence that showed that the accused had been cooperative from the beginning of the investigations, further proving their non-flight risk status.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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