State resources in the form of an estimated 20 heavily armed Police officers and an armoured vehicle had to be deployed at Seshego Magistrate’s Court last Thursday to safeguard the 18-year-old suspect who appeared on a charge of murder following the recent killing of Thoriso Kgomo (18).
As with the suspect’s previous appearance dismayed community members gathered at the court building with the hope of being allowed to attend the sitting but they were asked to leave the court room. Only the family of the deceased were permitted to be present.
When the suspect entered the court room, community members stormed the windows in an attempt to follow the proceedings but they were forced back by Police officers and warned to keep their distance and respect proceedings.
While the disgruntled crowd kept their distance a Nyala armoured vehicle pulled up to the entrance of the court in an effort to keep the suspect safe.
After the sitting the crowd stormed the vehicle but the suspect was quickly escorted from the premises.
The suspect, a so-called gang leader in Seshego was arrested on 5 January, the same day his victim, a Northern Academy learner, succumbed to injuries sustained during a stabbing incident at a party in Seshego. Ever since the suspect’s first appearance community members have been seen gathering at the court building demanding justice to be served.
During his previous appearance community members raised concern about his age. He was 17 at the time of the alleged stabbing but has since turned 18 and they want him to be tried as an adult.
The same suspect is expected to appear in the same court later this month on a charge of rape reportedly committed in Seshego recently and was also facing a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm that was allegedly committed in Lebowakgomo last year.
Provincial Police Communications Head Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed that Kgomo was allegedly attacked and stabbed at about 02:00 on 2 January and taken to hospital in a critical condition as he had been severely wounded and was unable to speak. Police launched a manhunt for the suspect resulting in him being arrested in Zone 3, Seshego three days after the incident. He added that Police at first investigated a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm which has since been changed to murder.
The suspect is expected to back in court at the end of April.
Story: RC Myburgh