Jub Jub verdict due in October

2012-07-19 10:09
A video allegedly showing murder accused Molemo \Jub Jub\ Maarohanye and co-accused Themba Tshabalala drag racing was not tampered with, an expert says.(File, Sapa)

A video allegedly showing murder accused Molemo \Jub Jub\ Maarohanye and co-accused Themba Tshabalala drag racing was not tampered with, an expert says.(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The Protea Magistrate's Court will deliver its verdict in the murder trial of Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala in October.

The case was set down for judgment from October 10 until 12 after closing arguments which continued late into Wednesday night.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala 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 and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Closing arguments

In his closing arguments on Wednesday, Mlungiseleleni Sovithi, for Tshabalala, contended that the State had failed to prove that his client had an intention to kill.

It had also failed to prove that he was involved in a drag race with Maarohanye at the time of the crash.

Sovithi said the court should take into account that his client was co-operative and not evasive throughout the proceedings.

"[Tshabalala] admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol. He's also said that his vehicle may have possibly hit the children, but he did not see this. This proves he is a man of his word," said Sovithi.

He submitted that Tshabalala had shown that he had learnt from his mistakes by not testing positive for alcohol or drugs in several examinations by the SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) since he was involved in the accident.

Sovithi criticised the testimony of several witnesses and urged the court to not take it into consideration.

He said some witnesses had given the court the speed at which they thought the two were travelling, and he suggested the court regard this as assumption and not fact.

He also dismissed the suggestion that Tshabalala and Maarohanye had been drag racing.

"The two cars were travelling at high speed, but that doesn't mean they were racing. Tshabalala had no reason to be racing with Maarohanye," said Sovithi.

Tampering

He also criticised the failure to ensure that samples taken from both men reached the testing laboratory in the original packaging.

"[The court was told] the accompanying paperwork had been messed on and the official who had to handle these resorted to using tweezers to take out the paperwork."

The court was also told that the samples were placed in two different bags, but were in one bag when they reached the laboratory.

Sovithi said this suggested possible tampering with the samples.

He called for Tshabalala's acquittal.

"If the evidence presented before a court cannot beyond reasonable doubt show that an accused is guilty, that person should be acquitted," he said.

Sovithi also told the court Tshabalala had shown remorse and had wanted to apologise to the families involved, but had not done so out of fear of how it would affect the trial.

Ike Motloung, for Maarohany made his closing arguments on Tuesday.

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