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Jub Jub's lawyer booed in court

2010-03-18 14:12

Johannesburg - Hip hop artist Jub Jub's lawyer was repeatedly booed in a Soweto court on Thursday, especially after he questioned why people were angry at the murder accused.

Defence counsel Ike Motloung questioned policeman Nkanyiso Maphanga in the Protea Magistrate's Court on why he believed the lives of Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala were in grave danger.

Maphanga had testified, in support of the State opposing bail, that protesting schoolchildren outside the court had threatened the two men, accused of killing four schoolchildren during a drag racing accident.

Confusing sadness with anger

"What makes the people angry?" asked Motloung, drawing sharp reaction from the public gallery filled with family members of the victims, who booed at him.

"Sometimes people confuse sadness with anger," added Motloung, sparking more reaction and booing.

He argued that "kids are kids" and said they liked having fun and that their death threats should not be taken seriously.

At one stage, Motloung's cellphone started ringing in court, much to the annoyance of people in the public gallery.

He asked magistrate Andre Auret to ask the onlookers to "stop making ugly expressions", after which the magistrate asked for silence in court.

Stressed

Throughout the proceedings, Tshabalala, wearing a striped orange and black suit, and Jub Jub, wearing a grey charcoal suit, looked stressed and tired and drank a lot of water.

Maphanga, who is assistant police commissioner in the Moroka cluster in Soweto, was adamant that the lives of the two accused and their families were in danger.

He told the court that protesting students on Wednesday caused mayhem outside and made repeated threats to the pair's lives.

"I fear for the safety of the accused, their families and property," said Maphanga.

"They [students] have already showed their anger in destroying property."

Schoolchildren arrested

Five schoolchildren were arrested for public violence on Wednesday after throwing stones at police cars.

They were released into the custody of their parents and warned to appear in court.

Motloung asked Maphanga why they were not being held in jail if they posed such a danger to his clients.

"You believe they are angry, yet you release these children," said Motloung.

But State prosecutor Liezl van Jaarsveld told the court that a new law recommended it be avoided that children be held in prison if they could be released into their parents' custody.

Outside the court, tempers flared.

Congress of SA Students (Cosas) provincial chairperson Ntsako Mogobe vowed that Jub Jub would be killed if released on bail.

"Cosas will not surrender to anyone. We are very disciplined students," he said, but added: "You give Jub Jub bail, we kill him, we don't surrender on that one."

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