Court heads to Jub Jub crash scene

2012-05-21 22:33

Johannesburg - Musician Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and co-accused Themba Tshabalala will visit the scene of an accident that led to murder charges against them on Tuesday.

The Protea Magistrate's Court adjourned their trial on Monday.

"We will resume tomorrow [Tuesday] and proceed to the scene of the crime," Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi said.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said inspection of a crime scene usually happened when the court sought clarity on a certain issue that might be in dispute during a trial.

"If there is a dispute to what happened at the scene of the crime the court will go and inspect the scene... Witnesses might also be questioned if needs be," Mhaga explained.

Earlier, the court granted Maarohanye an application to call a video expert to testify, despite the State asking for the case against the musician to be closed.

"Everyone deserves a fair trial, therefore, the expert will testify on 30 May 2012, at noon. The time is compromised because the court has an earlier engagement," Nemavhidi said.

"I don't want this court to be leaning more towards the State."

Ike Motloung, for Maarohanye, earlier told the court: "The evidence I intend to lead should confirm or dispute that the recording is genuine and has not been tampered with."

"If it was tampered with, someone should get arrested," he said.

The case against Tshabalala was closed earlier in the day after his defence finished leading evidence and had no more witnesses to call.

The magistrate provisionally closed the case against Maarohanye last week, pending the testimony of an expert witness in his defence.

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

Motloung said he had since discovered he would need a video expert even though the video was recorded on a cellphone.

Prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa told the court on Monday that the video evidence was presented in May 2011, and that the court granted Maarohanye's application to bring his own expert on July 13, 2011.

"The State is filing a notice that, given the time afforded to accused one [Maarohanye], he had a year and despite all the resources made available by the State, he was passive," said Mathenjwa.

"The family of the deceased need closure, they have been here since we started. The right of the accused must be taken into consideration, but the right of other people should not be compromised," Mathenjwa said.

Motloung responded: "This is a clumsy attempt by the State to block crucial evidence.

"The State has the audacity to say we are wasting time. By all standards this case has gone on for too long, but the case for the defence opened recently."

Accused of lying

Motloung argued that the State took up about 80% of the time for the trial.

"The case is hanging on a string. I want to finalise the matter," Nemavhidi said.

"I would love to sit down after hours if it means we close this case."

Motloung told the court he would meet with the expert and the expert would do tests. A full report of the findings would be made available to the State before 30 May.

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

They were allegedly racing their Mini Coopers when they crashed into a group of school children along Mdlalose Street, in Protea North, on 8 March 2010. Four boys were killed and two others were seriously injured.

On Monday, the State said Tshabalala's evidence could be thrown out, and accused him of not telling the truth about the accident.

Mathenjwa said Tshabalala's lawyer did not object to the testimony presented by other witnesses and said the State would not accept his testimony.

Last week, while giving evidence led by defence lawyer Mlungiseleli Soviti, Tshabalala said he would admit to hitting a group of schoolchildren.

Soviti asked him if evidence by Maarohanye and previous witnesses 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.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala sat in the dock looking down and listening to the proceedings. Family members of the deceased were in court and sat quietly in the public gallery.

- SAPA
Read more on:    jub jub  |  themba tshabalala  |  soweto  |  johannesburg  |  jub jub case
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