Jub Jub's co-accused admits to killing pupils
THEMBA Tshabalala has said under cross-examination that he would admit to killing four Soweto pupils while racing with hip-hop artist Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye.
Tshabalala yesterday told the Protea Magistrate's Court that he drank Irish whiskey before the fatal crash which claimed the lives of four school children in March 2010.
Tshabalala and Maarohanye are on trial for four counts of murder, attempted murder, negligent and reckless driving, and driving under the influence of drugs and liquor.
Tshabalala said that although he had taken liquor he was not intoxicated.
"I did have alcohol. I had Jameson (a whiskey) with tonic water in a glass. I only had one glass," he said.
Tshabalala was giving evidence led by defence lawyer Mlungiseleli Soviti.
"Would you admit to killing the kids if people said you did?" Soviti asked. "Yes," an emotional Tshabalala replied.
Soviti then asked: "Did you intend to hit the children?" Tshabalala said: "No."
Maarohanye and Tshabalala were allegedly racing their Mini Coopers when they crashed into a group of school children along Mdlalose Street in Protea North on March 8 2010.
Four children were killed and two others seriously injured.
Earlier, Tshabalala described the events that led up to the accident, saying he met Maarohanye in Protea and they were driving to the same place in Protea North after lunch.
"After overtaking Molemo's [Maarohanye's] car we drove for a few seconds and that's when the accident happened," he said.
"I had a knock on the right back of the car, the driver's side at the back . My car lost control, started spinning and it capsized."
Soviti asked if there were children walking on the side of the road or on the road when the accident happened and Tshabalala said yes.
"Do you deny that your car hit some of the kids?" Soviti asked while leading evidence.
"No, I can't deny it," replied Tshabalala, who was close to tears.
Tshabalala said he had no intention of hitting the children or being negligent on the day.
Soviti asked him if evidence given by Maarohanye and previous witnesses, saying that he caused the accident, was true.
"It's not true . I am certain that it's not true [that my car hit Maarohanye's car]," Tshabalala said.
Soviti asked Tshabalala what speed he was driving and to describe his state of sobriety.
"I was driving at 60km/h.. I was not drunk or tipsy," he replied.
Tshabalala told the court the collision at the back caused him to lose control of the car.
"I tried to point it to the right direction but I was unsuccessful . I couldn't see what was happening outside."
The court heard that Tshabalala was sent to regular drug testing after his family heard reports that he was using drugs.
On May 7, witness Mphumelelo Vezi, a passenger in Tshabalala's car, told the court the left rear of Tshabalala's blue Mini Cooper had hit the right rear of Maarohanye's grey Mini Cooper.
"I did not see it, but I felt it and I heard it . The bang was loud but not very loud.
"I was sitting in the left rear of the blue car, where the bang was," he said at the time.