Jub Jub magistrate recalls evidence

By Drum Digital
10 October 2012

The Protea Magistrate's Court recapped evidence given in the murder trial of musician Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala on Wednesday.

Handing down judgment, Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi recalled evidence given by specialists, analysts, eye-witnesses and police officers in the trial that started in 2010.

"Accused number one [Maarohanye] pleaded not guilty to the 10 charges against him," Nemavhidi said.

"Accused number two [Tshabalala] also pleaded guilty to the 10 charges against him."

The two 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.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala are charged on 10 counts each, including murder, attempted murder, reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and failing to assess the injuries of the victims.

The Soweto courtroom was packed and police officers eventually barred more people from entering.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala, both wearing black suits, sat away from each other and occasionally made eye contact.

Nemavhidi recalled evidence from an officer that said when Maarohanye was tested for alcohol he tested negative after the accident, but Tshabalala blew a 0.40 percent.

"However, tests showed both the accused had cocaine and morphine in their systems," he read.

Tshabalala's lawyer Mlungiseleleni Sovithi asked Nemavhidi if the two could sit down, an hour into judgment.

Nemavhidi granted the request, indicating that judgment would be a lengthy process. More than 20 witnesses testified in the murder trial.

Sovithi also requested that only video cameras be allowed during judgment.

"We are being disturbed by the clicking of the cameras," he said.

"As much as the media have the right to be here and report on the case -- it should not affect us."

Nemavhidi granted his request and said video cameras may continue recording, but no still images were allowed to be taken during proceedings.

Reading his summary, the magistrate said the post mortem revealed that the schoolchildren died of head injuries and multiple body injuries. One of the boys died of a broken neck.

Time was also spent on the procedures taken to handle evidence and the conduct of officers involved during the investigations.

Friends and family of the schoolchildren and of Tshabalala and Maarohanye attended proceedings.

Maarohanye sat in the dock, looking down, and Tshabalala looked at Nemavhidi as he read the summary.

Family of the schoolchildren told Sapa during the lunch break that they were relieved that the trial was coming to an end.

"Finally the day has come. We can now put this behind us," a mother of one of the deceased boys said.

Earlier, more benches were carried into court for people standing outside who wanted to attend the judgment.

Judgment continues.

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