Unruly schoolchildren trash Soweto streets

2010-03-19 11:13

Police fired rubber bullets at mobs of schoolchildren who went on

the rampage outside the Protea Magistrate’s Court today, attempting to rob

passers-by and blocking traffic.

A nyala slowly drove past the hundreds of students, with police

officers firing a few shots from inside the armoured vehicle.

It was enough to send the students fleeing, leaving them waiting on

the parameter of the park across from the court building.

Hundreds of schoolchildren arrived at the court around 9.30am in a

third day of protests against hip-hop artist Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and

Themba Tshabalala, accused of killing four schoolchildren in a drag racing


Aggressive protesters, some dressed in school uniform, attempted to

rob a man on a bicycle but eventually let him go.

Others accosted a bread truck and managed to open its back door.

One of the protesters grabbed a bread loaf before the truck sped off. The loaf

was flung into the air.

Johannesburg metro police officers arrived on the scene later to

support police officials who were pointing shot guns loaded with rubber bullets

at the children.

The protesters tried to block cars from passing through the street

in front of the court.

They were singing, “we are not afraid of you”, and, “the things you

are doing are not right”.

Some tried to force their way onto the court premises but were

stopped by police.

Inside the court, the State argued that the pair should not be

granted bail for several reasons, including their safety and public


“The outrage of the community may lead to public disorder if they

are released,” said State prosecutor Liezl van Jaarsveld.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala are facing charges of murder, attempted

murder and reckless and drunken driving after an alleged drag racing accident on

March 8 that killed four pupils and critically injured two others.

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