The family of Thoriso Themane, a 28-year-old resident who was allegedly killed by a group of youths in February last year, remains confident in the justice system despite the postponement of the trial which was scheduled to start in the Limpopo High Court on Monday.
The murder case against two adults and and nine teenagers made headlines last year after Themane’s brutal assault that was captured on video. The incident sparked outrage with the public calling for justice.
Themane’s mother, Maria, says the courts hadn’t given the family the court reports at the time Polokwane Observer spoke to her, but she emphasised that the family would allow the law to take its course. “We will allow them to do what is in the best interests of the case. A year later and we are still confident that justice will be served.”
The trial is set to start on 6 July.
The Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi confirmed that the case was postponed as the legal representatives of two of the accused in the matter requested the state to furnish them with certain information.
The teenagers and the two adults were arrested following Themane’s death on 23 February. His body was found by a passerby in Flora Park. A 72-hour activation plan was put into action by police and by April, the teenage suspects were released on R2 000 bail each and conditions included relocating from the municipal area of Polokwane until the finalisation of the matter, as well as not being arrested for any other offences that contain violence as an element. Another condition was that they not attend any of the schools they attended at the beginning of the year in the city.
Three adults were initially arrested on 28 February, however, charges were later dropped against one as the court found no evidence linking him to the crime. The other two suspects were released on R1 000 bail each.
The Spokesperson of the Thorisho Themane Foundation’s legal division Kevin Pohotona, says that the postponement is part of the legal process, which the foundation finds “a bit lame”.
“We have been reserved as the matter was still under investigation. One of the prosecutors who was initially involved in the case has left and was replaced. This is one of the nitty-gritty issues that has been happening below the radar.”
He says the foundation has been taking a backseat to allow the prosecution to do its job, but they have been keeping an eye on the case.
“We did not want to tamper with the matter which is about to be heard in court. As a civil rights movement we are concerned about the amount of violence taking place. Although we are unhappy with the direction of the case the NPA is taking, we will be patient and wait for the outcome of the legal proceedings.”
He added that the foundation knows that “Justice delayed is not justice denied”.