Mama Jackey and student accusers nowhere to be found

Lenyaro Sello andDavid Penman

Lenyaro Sello andDavid Penman

As the tumult around the Ithuteng Trust mounts, some of the accusers of its founder, Jackey Maarohanye, have gone into hiding amid allegations of a campaign of terror against them.

Ithuteng's board of trustees has collapsed. Its only remaining member is Maarohanye.

Her accusers have drawn a veil of silence around themselves.

The young man she accused of murder and arson is nowhere to be found, and the mother of another youth yesterday refused to allow her son to be interviewed for fear that her home might be petrol-bombed and her son killed.

After allegations of mismanaged funds and fabricated stories to get sponsorships, Joseph Kganakga resigned as chairman of the trust and expressed great disappointment at the revelations.

Announcing his resignation, Kganakga said he was also announcing the resignations of the other trustees, Petra Kahle and Yvonne Mokgoro, a constitutional court judge.

Kganakga stopped short of admitting that he and his fellow trustees might have been too trusting.

"Trust is not a bad thing," he said in an interview on Carte Blanche on TV on Sunday.

But he went on to say: "I was watching, but it was as if I was really not seeing.

"I was hearing, but not comprehending. It was a nightmare. I felt gutted, totally gutted.

"We no longer regard ourselves in any way as part of the Ithuteng Trust," Kganakga said.

"Mama" Jackey and her daughter, Tiisetso, appear to have gone to ground as well as the crisis around them deepens.

Tiisetso, who is not a trustee, has been the voice of the trust since the world came crashing down around her mother.

Odette Schwegier, producer of Carte Blanche, yesterday told Sowetan that her researchers' investigations had revealed that Ithuteng Trust's board members were not registered in compliance with legal requirements.

Efforts to trace the Maarohanyes for comment about a press statement issued by Tiisetso, in which she claimed that all was well, failed yesterday. Cellphones were not answered.

Maarohanye could not be found at her luxury home in Naturena, south of Johannesburg.

Sowetan could not trace Victor Mohale, a former student, who is believed to be in hiding.

He is convinced someone is out to get him. Mohale was quoted last on Carte Blanche as saying: "I am in trouble for something I didn't do.

"Let them prove their story, I will prove my story."

Maarohanye had accused Mohale of starting a fire at Ithuteng Trust using a petrol bomb.

The police have disputed this claim, stating that Mohale was nowhere near the scene of the crime.