full screen background image
A trending photo of the late Thoriso Kgomo after the attack.

Teen attack: Cry for exposure after horrific stabbing

9078

The danger of getting hacked with a panga at a party a month after the much publicised violent act that is suspected of having led to Thoriso Themane’s death last February, reportedly caused the young Thoriso Kgomo to flee in fear of becoming a victim like his namesake.
Eleven months later the 18-year-old soccer star is believed to have followed the same fate when he died after initially surviving an estimated 15 stab wounds during a social event on the second day of the new year.
Known as “Forklift” on the football field and described as humble and popular among his peers, the Northern Academy learner reportedly died for a “dry-fit” (street slang for a designer cap) following an alleged stabbing incident blamed on a 17-year-old suspect identified as the leader of one of three gangs seemingly feared for ruling the Polokwane teen scene. The suspect, who has appeared in Seshego Magistrate’s Court on a charge of murder earlier this week, is already out on bail on unrelated charges of rape pending in Seshego and assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm in Lebowakgomo, according to the Police in Limpopo.
Provincial Police Communications Head Motlafela Mojapelo, who initially indicated that there was no arrest in the matter, confirmed upon a follow-up enquiry that a 17-year-old suspect appeared in Seshego Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday facing a charge of murder. The suspect was remanded in custody until his appearance facing a charge of murder on 30 January. Mojapelo further indicated that while the suspect appeared in court on Tuesday a group of people, mostly youngsters, gathered outside the court building demanding that he not be granted bail.
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 sustained severe wounds and was unable to speak. Police launched a manhunt for the suspect whereupon he was arrested in Zone 3 in Seshego on Sunday, the day Thoriso passed on, according to Mojapelo. 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 was expected to appear in the same court in February on a charge of rape reportedly committed in Seshego and was also facing a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm that was allegedly committed in Lebowakgomo, according to Mojapelo.
Thoriso’s mother, Mapateng Perpetua Kgomo has been left heart-broken by her son’s death. “I am torn into pieces. My son did not deserve to die this way,” she said in a telephonic interview yesterday (Wednesday) morning.
She further described her son as the most humble person. “He was always the one to apologise first. Even when in hospital he told his father he is sorry that he slipped out of the house and got into trouble. When I arrived at the hospital he told me exactly the same. I assured him not to worry and than we now need to focus on his health. We prayed for him and believed that he would recover,” she said.
The fear of attack by youthful gangsters while out socialising was real, confirmed a close friend of Kgomo who approached Polokwane Observer with the request to give exposure to the story in an attempt to see justice being served. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source alluded to the presence of gangsters at social events which nowadays determines decision on the part of vulnerable boys and girls to only attend parties based on the prior knowledge that security would be in place and no gang members would be attending.
The source shed light on the reality of the teenage party vibe in Polokwane currently being dominated by three gangs of an estimated 20 members each, differing in ages between 13 and 20 years, carrying dangerous weapons that vary from pangas to butcher knives and who occasionally enter into battle with one another.
Turning to the incident that would have led to Kgomo’s death, the source mentioned that he apparently slipped out of his parents’ home in Luthuli Park on the night of the incident to attend a party in the same area. The source was not informed on what led to the stabbing but alleged that his attacker wanted his branded cap, resulting in Kgomo being stabbed 15 times in his face and across his body.
“We are all in disbelief over the senseless act. A lot of people are affected by the incident and some are angry. I am still in dismay and think reality will only sink in at the funeral on Saturday. Thoriso was not a fighter and have never been involved in a fight.”
The source provided screen grabs related to the case trending on social media, which were verified for authenticity against available information. The fact that the case is under investigation impacted on the decision not to publish further trending clips and images.
It was established that a memorial service is expected to be held at the school today (Thursday) and a march from his parents’ home planned for tomorrow (Friday), prior to Saturday’s funeral programme.

Story:
YOLANDE NEL
>>observer.yolande@gmail.com
RC Myburgh
>>rc.observer@gmail.com