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'She was feared and respected - her word was law'

By unknown | May 18, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Thembela Khamango

Thembela Khamango

Ithuteng Trust director Jackey Maarohanye will return to court next month and in October. Three of her drama-filled trials have been postponed in the Protea magistrates' court.

Mama Jackey, as she is known, stood trial last week for public violence, malicious damage to property, theft and housebreaking. The case, which started on Tuesday last week, was postponed last Friday week to October 1 after several law enforcement officials had given evidence.

The offences are alleged to have occurred in October last year.

She was in court again on Tuesday, when she appeared on two charges of kidnapping and assault.

She is alleged to have kidnapped and assaulted former Ithuteng pupil Simphiwe Ncoguthu, 24, in February last year. Her co-accused are Ronnie Nyakale, 34, and Mpho Makhate, 24.

She is also - with Nyakale, Patricia Molaba, 34, and Thembi Dladla, 21 - accused of kidnapping and assaulting Sowetan reporter Vusi Ndlovu on February 17 at the Ithuteng school.

Before her arrest in January, Maarohanye was feared by former and present pupils of her school, and by the teachers.

Two former pupils said this week that "her word was law".

"We could never say anything against her. You were supposed to continue to praise her and worship her long after you left the school. You were expected to visit her house to show your support.

"If you did not do so, you became the enemy," a former pupil said.

The pupils said that several incidents during her trials were typical of the Mama Jackey they knew.

"She was always threatening to frame [people] and have those [who were] against her arrested and locked up for long periods,' the other pupil said.

On Friday her lawyer asked the magistrate to warn the media against inaccurate reporting about his client.

Sowetan, another daily newspaper and a radio station had reported that Maarohanye had giggled in the dock and gestured at witnesses testifying against her.

The Sowetan reporter stands by her statement that Maarohanye giggled and gestured.


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