Tears flow at Jub Jub judgement

By Drum Digital
11 October 2012

Family members of the schoolchildren killed and injured in the crash involving musician Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala wept in court on Thursday.

Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi was handing down judgment in the murder trial when he recalled evidence from the pathologist in the Protea Magistrate's Court.

"Injuries of all four the deceased are all confirmatory (sic) that there was a sudden acceleration," Nemavhidi read.

"The victims were struck at a very high speed, their bodies were accelerated from zero speed to maximum velocity.... So severe to cause a near-decapitation in one of the victims."

As Nemavhidi was reading the judgment, family members of the schoolchildren broke down and were seen comforting each other.

Sobs were heard in the court as he read the report that described the individual cases of death in the four schoolchildren.

The two accused were allegedly drag-racing in Protea North in March 2010 when they crashed into a group of schoolchildren. Four boys were killed and two were seriously injured.

They are charged with murder, reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and failing to asses the injuries of the victims. Both accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Nemavhidi read that the accident reconstruction expert concluded that the cars were driving at 109km/h and 112km/h on the 60km/h stretch of road.

"He concluded that the severity of the accident could have been avoided if the driver of the blue Mini Cooper [Tshabalala's] had not exceeded 60km/h," Nemavhidi read.

"He concluded that the two vehicles were racing... It is impossible that the blue Mini Cooper bumped the grey Mini Cooper [Maarohanye's]."

This contradicted evidence given by Maarohanye during the trial. He told the court that he heard a loud bang as Tshabalala's car hit the rear of his car, causing him to hit the curb and then a tree.

Nemavhidi said the expert stated that neither car had mechanical faults prior to the accident.

"He concluded that the accident occurred as a result of over-steering," Nemavhidi read.

"He further concluded that the two vehicles were racing. The severity of the accident could have been avoided if the driver of the blue Mini Cooper had not exceeded 60km/h."

Maarohanye and Tshabalala sat in the dock looking at Nemavhidi as he recalled evidence given in the trial that started in 2010.

Nemavhidi started handing down judgment on Wednesday, summarising the testimony of 20 witnesses.

Friends and family of the school children, and of Tshabalala and Maarohanye, were present.

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