A defiant Jackey Maarohanye, founder of the Ithuteng Trust, yesterday appeared briefly in the Protea magistrates' court and threatened to sue anyone who took pictures of her.
Maarohanye was facing charges of housebreaking with intent to steal and to commit an unknown offence, public violence and malicious damage to property.
The trial comes in the wake of the public humiliation of Maarohanye who, it is alleged, has been manipulating children to raise funds.
Wearing a green jacket and black trousers, Maarohanye sat among her supporters, who filled the courtroom to capacity.
An angry Maarohanye shouted at reporters, whom she mistook for photographers.
"He took a picture of me. He is not allowed to do that in court," she protested to a court orderly.
"I am going to sue your newspaper," she threatened a Sowetan reporter.
The charges against Maarohanye arise from a violent protest march in October by children from a home administered by her trust during which the children blockaded a road with burning tyres.
More than 1000 Soweto pupils and parents clashed with police, saying that law enforcers were reluctant to arrest a man suspected of starting a fire in the building that houses her Ithuteng Trust.
One youth, Kleinbooi Khanye, died in the blaze.
The children and their parents blockaded the busy Old Potchefstroom Road and threatened to sue safety and security minister Charles Nqakula and national police commissioner Jackie Selebi for negligence. The trial was set for February 23 and 28.