‘We are the kids our parents warned us about’: In the Polokwane teen gang
“We are the kids our parents warned us about.”
This is the profile picture of a WhatsApp group created by an alleged gang of teenage children in Polokwane, Limpopo.
Six members of the gang – known as the “maDhura squad” – are in police custody after being implicated in the killing of musician and student Thoriso Themani in Flora Park. Three men, all aged 36, are also in custody.
“Dhura”, which translates to “expensive” in English, is known for wearing expensive clothing brands, including adidas, Fila and Nike. They gather at Flora Park at the weekends, flashing cash and drinking expensive alcohol.
This is part of their lifestyle, according to a Capricorn High School pupil, who spoke to Times Select on condition of anonymity.
Themane, 27, was battered and bruised and left for dead in a park just 1.5km from his home more than a week ago. He was rushed to hospital, but ultimately died because of injuries.
A gruesome video of Themane lying on the ground after the attack last weekend went viral. Children can be heard saying that he would die.
The brutal nature of the attack and the contents of the video sparked a public outcry and led to the formation of the hashtag #JusticeForThorisho.
The pupil, who is a friend of the alleged gang members, said she learnt of Themane’s beating after gang members posted videos and pictures of the incident on their statuses. The pictures, showing a clenched fist, were captioned “ma Dhura squaD911, salute, respect”.
On Friday, hundreds of people converged on the old Peter Mokaba Stadium, from where they marched to the Polokwane police station to demand justice for Themane, and that the suspects are denied bail.
“If you are old enough to kill, you are old enough for a sentence,” the majority of the placards read.
Several marchers wore T-shirts with Themani’s face on them.
Another video, allegedly of a teenage suspect, in school uniform, admitting to have been involved in the assault, has also emerged. In the video the pupil says he is untouchable because his father is a cop. The pupil who recorded the video has since received a death threat and his family fears for their safety.
“I am scared for my life, for my family’s safety,” said the mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child.
Times Select has seen two more videos related to Themane’s attack. These have not yet been shared on social media...