I'll admit: Jub Jub's co-accused

By Drum Digital
14 May 2012

Musician Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye's co-accused, Themba Tshabalala, would admit to hitting a group of schoolchildren, the Protea Magistrate's Court heard on Monday.

Tshabalala was giving evidence led by defence lawyer, Mlungiseleli Soviti.

"Would you admit to killing the kids if people said you did?" Soviti asked. "Yes," an emotional Tshabalala replied.

Soviti then asked: "Did you intend to hit the children?" Tshabalala said: "No."

Maarohanye and Tshabalala face charges of murder, attempted murder and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The two were allegedly racing their Mini Coopers when they crashed into a group of school children along Mdlalose Street in Protea North on March 8, 2010.

Four children were killed and two others seriously injured.

Earlier, Tshabalala described the events that led up to the accident, saying he met Maarohanye in Protea and they were driving to the same place in Protea north after lunch.

"After overtaking Molemo's [Maarohanye's] car we drove for a few seconds and that's when the accident happened," Tshabalala said.

"I had a knock on the right back of the car, the driver's side at the back... My car lost control, started spinning and it capsized."

Soviti asked if there were children walking on the side of the road or on the road when the accident happened and Tshabalala said yes.

"Did you see your car hit the kids?" Soviti asked. "No, I didn't," Tshabalala replied.

"Do you deny that your car hit some of the kids?" Soviti asked while leading evidence.

"No, I can't deny it," replied a close to tears Tshabalala.

Tshabalala said he had no intention of hitting the children or being negligent on the day.

Soviti asked him if evidence given by Maarohanye and previous witnesses, saying that he caused the accident, was true.

"It's not true... I am certain that it's not true [that my car hit Maarohanye's car]," Tshabalala told the court.

Soviti asked Tshabalala what speed he was driving and to describe his state of sobierty.

"I was driving at 60km/h.... I was not drunk or tipsy," he replied.

Earlier, Tshabalala admitted to having a glass of whiskey, mixed with water, during lunch but said that he didn't use drugs.

Tshabalala told the court the collision at the back caused him to lose control of the car.

"I tried to point it to the right direction but I was unsuccessful... I couldn't see what was happening outside."

The court heard that Tshabalala was sent to regular drug testing after his family heard reports that he was using drugs.

On May 7, eyewitness Mphumelelo Vezi, a passenger in Tshabalala's car, told the court the left rear of Tshabalala's blue Mini Cooper had hit the right rear of Maarohanye's grey Mini Cooper.

"I did not see it, but I felt it and I heard it... The bang was loud but not very loud. I was sitting on the left rear of the blue car, where the bang was," he said at the time.

Last Monday, Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi provisionally closed the case against Maarohanye while the testimony of an expert witness in his defence is being awaited.

Maarohanye's defence will call an IT expert to challenge the authenticity of cellphone video footage presented by the State earlier in the trial.

Wearing blue jeans, a white shirt, purple tie and black pullover Jub Jub sat in the dock listening to Tshabalala give testimony.

Family members of the school children listened intently as court proceedings continued.

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