An 18-year-old learner of a local high school who on Monday appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court for a second time facing charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and possession of a dangerous weapon, will remain in custody until 18 February pending further investigation.
The learner, whose name is withheld, is expected to appear with his alleged accomplice, Diekeng Kekana (28) who also appeared in the same court last week and was denied bail, according to Mienkie Ramakgoakgoa of the Provincial Police Communications Centre.
The charges against them pertain to an incident on the N1 bypass in the vicinity of Tweefontein when what seemed like the aftermath of a reported matric farewell party among a group of youngsters proved nearly fatal for an innocent passer-by who was reportedly attacked, assaulted and stabbed.
Initial information indicated that a group of youngsters, some of whom from a local high school, had allegedly attacked and killed a man under a bridge on the bypass.
The emergency message on a social media group quickly resulted in community members and the Police responding to the scene where the youngsters were apprehended.
Provincial Police Spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe indicated that the victim had been critically injured. He stated that the group had reportedly come across their victim who was walking alone and allegedly launched an attack. The victim was assaulted with various objects for no particular reason. With Polokwane Observer’s arrival on the scene a group of alleged suspects had been apprehended and questioned along the road. Police officers who conducted a quick search of the vicinity found a knife on the embankment adjacent to the road.
The knife had allegedly been thrown onto the embankment by the culprit(s) in an effort to get rid of evidence.
Ngoepe confirmed that three knives and a toy gun were recovered during the arrest.
He added that the victim was still recuperating in a local hospital.
Provincial Police Corporate Communications Head, Motlafela Mojapelo was requested to provide statistics on how many cases involving criminal acts by minors had been reported recently.
He could, however, not provide the information and referred Polokwane Observer to the Police website where no such information could be obtained.
Story & photos: RC Myburgh