Police have confirmed that one of the suspects in the murder of Thoriso Themane is the son of a former policeman. He is one of five suspects, aged between 15 and 16, who have been arrested in connection with Themane’s murder.
The suspects will appear in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Thursday amid tight security. Themane was hacked to death allegedly by a group of school boys in a city park in Polokwane on Saturday night.
A video of the incident has been circulating on social media and in it the son of the former policeman claims to be untouchable because of his dad.
On Friday, there will be a march in Polokwane to demand justice for Themane.
National Police Spokesperson Vish Naidoo says nobody is above the law.
“Nobody is above the law. People cannot go around expecting to get away with such a heinous crime. I can confirm, yes, one of the suspects is the son of a retired police officer. I can also confirm from the interviews with that particular police officer that they are just as devastated as the nation at what has happened. You know, one has to sympathise with the parent. I don’t think we want to wish this upon any parent irrespective of who the parent is, when they hear that their son in alleged to have been involved in committing a gruesome crime.”
A criminology and security sciences professor at the University of South Africa, Annie Hasselink, says cases of violent crimes committed by minors are steadily increasing.
Hasselink says about 100 minors are serving prison sentences at the moment.
“Normally, if it is a first time involvement they tend to refer minors for diversion programs but in this case it will depend on the severity of the crime, on the circumstances of the crime. We do have, I think at this stage, about a hundred children in South Africa’s prisons aged under 18 with very serious violent crimes. So it is not a new phenomenon in South Africa. It is actually very worrying that it is on the increase.”
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