No memories for brain injured boy, Jub Jub trial hears

2011-06-22 12:58

A child brain injured in an accident involving musician Molemo Jub Jub Maarohanye and Temba Tshabalala could not remember anything, the Protea Magistrates Court heard today.

Wiping away tears, Joel Mushwana told the court his son Fumani suffered from memory loss.

“If I ask for water, he stands in front of the fridge with the glass in his hand,” Mushwana testified.

Maarohanye and his co-accused Temba Tshabalala bowed their heads and closed their eyes as he gave evidence.

Four children died when one of their Mini Coopers ploughed into a group of school children while they were allegedly drag-racing in Mdlalose Street in Protea North, Soweto, last year.

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

A second survivor of the crash, Frank Mlambo, also sustained brain injuries.

She was at work when she found out what had happened, his mother Martha Tinyiko Mlambo told the court.

Her son was not moving when she visited him at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath hospital at 8pm, that night, she said: “He was on a stretcher.”

He had steel bricks attached to the side of his head, and had machinery connected to him, she testified.

Her son was moved to the trauma unit and then to the intensive care unit where he stayed from March 9, the day after the accident, to early in May.
He spent 19 more days in another ward before being taken home.

She told the court he had no fractures, but internal bleeding which affected his brain.

On arriving at home, Frank had to learn how to eat, walk and talk again. He also had to use adult diapers.

“I had to take care of him as a small baby,” Mlambo testified.

He asked his mother whether he had been stabbed.

He also wanted to go back to school, which he eventually did, but he could not write properly and did not pass his exams. He had since been moved to another school where all he could do was woodwork, she said.

“He doesn’t remember,” she told the court.

Earlier, a police officer at the scene of the accident testified that at the time of their arrests, both Maarohanye and Tshabalala tested positive for cocaine and morphine.

Tshabalala’s blood-alcohol level at the time was 0.40 and Maarohanye’s was zero.

Also dissected in court today was the previous cross-examination of a crime intelligence cyber unit police officer who copied onto a DVD a cellphone video purportedly showing Maarohanye and Tshabalala drag racing.

At the request of State prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa, magistrate Brian Nemabidi ordered that the policeman not be identified for “security reasons”.

Maarohanye’s lawyer Ike Motloung accused the policeman of “speaking in circles” and also questioned whether the speed of a video could be altered.

In yesterday’s cross examination, he accused the policeman of “lying” and “playing games”.

“You never thought I’d ask for the file,” Motloung said.

The footage belongs to 18-year-old witness Ntokozo Mahlangu.

Previously she said she refused to give the defence her cellphone’s memory card as it contained private data.


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