The Polokwane magistrates’ court has granted the seven schoolboys accused of the murder of Thoriso Themane R2 000 bail each with strict conditions.
The state, represented by an adv Mudau did not oppose bail. The seven accused all appeared behind closed doors as they are minors.
The bail conditions are that the minors be relocated outside Polokwane by their parents and that they must not be involved in violent acts during the duration of their trial.
The minors were also warned not to visit any school in Polokwane and that they remain under guardianship of their parents.
The granting of the unopposed bail did not sit well with the Themane family.
Family spokesperson Kevin Pohotona, who also represents the Thoriso Themane Foundation, told the media outside court that the move was “very disappointing”.
“It was very obvious that the matter was already decided before the accused were called into the box. You could just see the smiles on the faces of the accused when they walk into the box and the body language of their parents,” Pohotona said.
“It is very disappointing that after committing such a heinous crime, they are let free [on bail]. The safety of other children and their safety as well should have been considered. The state should have opposed bail,” he said.
He said it was going to be hard to break the news of the granting of bail to Themane’s parents, who weren’t in court on Wednesday.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) provincial spokesperson Mashudu Malabi, who was also not at court, could not immediately provide reasons why the bail application was unopposed.
The case was remanded to May 31.
The minors are expected to be joined by the two adult accused who are also facing a charge of murder in connection with Themane’s killing.
Chuene Maleka, 37, and Alfred Mothapo, 36, were granted bail of R1000 each in the Polokwane magistrate court on Tuesday.
Themane was attacked and killed on February 23 allegedly by a group of school children in Polokwane. The attack was captured on video which went viral on social media.