Jub Jub trial postponed for minor

2011-03-18 20:32
Johannesburg - The murder trial of musician Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and his co-accused Themba Tshabalala was on Friday postponed shortly after it began in camera at the Protea Magistrate's Court.

The trial was postponed to Tuesday when a witness who is a minor is expected to continue testifying for the State.

Earlier on Friday the trial was open to the public when eyewitness, Maki Ndlovu, stood her ground in defending her evidence during cross-examination by defence attorneys.

Ndlovu, a trainee sangoma, told the court how two Mini Coopers driven by the accused sped past her and her friend, Nono Mabote, as they allegedly raced along Mdlalose drive between Protea North and Protea Glen on March 8 2010.

‘Kids flew through air’

She recalled how a silver grey Mini Cooper driven by the accused bumped the front wheels of the blue one, causing it to hit a pavement and then ploughing into a group of schoolchildren, sending them flying in the air along with it.

The blue Mini Cooper landed on top of two of the children it hit while two others fell to the side of the vehicle in bushes on the side of the road, she said.

Four children were killed in the accident and two others were severely injured.

Ndlovu also told the court that as she was the first at the accident scene she gave information to the media to use for their story and not the other way around as alleged by the accused's defence attorney.

She further told the court that she and Mabote never discussed details of the accident until they made witness statements to the police.

Defence attorney Ike Motloung accused Ndlovu and Mabote, who testified on Thursday, of having shared information about the accident as their statements had similar facts.

He also accused them of mixing their evidence with what was reported in the media. However, Ndlovu defended herself by telling Motloung that their statements had similar facts as they were together when the accident happened.

Accident a horror scene

Ndlovu also told the court how shortly after the accident Maarohanye was slapped by a woman who had arrived on the scene and told him he had killed the children.

Earlier she had described to the court the horror sight of the accident scene - a memory that saw her break down and sob uncontrollably, prompting the trial to be briefly stood down.

Motloung grinned immediately after Ndlovu broke down, angering family members in the public gallery who asked whether the death of their children was funny.

Motloung went further in his cross examination to ask why Ndlovu allegedly sprinkled water in the courtroom and spat around it before the hearing began.

But this prompted an objection from the prosecutor, who requested for the hearing to be briefly stood down to consult with the defence.

Public protest

Meanwhile, members of the public and relatives of the children killed also protested and shouted that Motloung should go learn about his culture.

Some of them even offered Ndlovu more water to sprinkle in the court during the break.

However Motloung returned after the break and retracted the question, admitting it wasn't relevant to the trial.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, as well as reckless and negligent driving after the initial charges of culpable homicide were changed.

The two were allegedly drag racing when the accident happened, an allegation their defence attorneys are trying to discredit during the trial.

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