A lesson for Mama Jackey

Far from deriving joy from anyone's misfortunes, we believe the four-year jail sentence handed down to Jackey Maarohanye, alias Mama Jackey, sends an appropriate message to people of her standing in our society.

Far from deriving joy from anyone's misfortunes, we believe the four-year jail sentence handed down to Jackey Maarohanye, alias Mama Jackey, sends an appropriate message to people of her standing in our society.

That message is that however powerful and influential people can be, they may not take the law into their hands.

Most importantly, the sentence reflects society's outrage at the kind of behaviour that led to the disgraceful finale in her case.

After being convicted of kidnapping a former pupil by the Protea magistrate's court in November, the controversial Ithuteng Trust director was sentenced to four years' imprisonment yesterday.

Consequently, the fact the criminal record has blemished her status as community leader and this obliges her to re-examine her role as a director of the Ithuteng Trust, whose image she may have brought into disrepute.

This is imperative because sponsors of her school are most likely to be uncomfortable to continue their association with the trust with her still at the helm with a cloud hanging over her head.

Her work in initiating projects no doubt raised her stature and established her as a community builder of note.

With the court having given her a lease of life with an alternative of a R8 500 fine, Maarohanye has another chance to turn a new leaf.

She has been given an opportunity to rebuild her image to its former glory in a neighbourhood that had begun to view her school as a den of iniquity.

Having created a number of enemies in the neighbourhood through her fearsome reputation, she has been given another chance to reconcile herself to the community she works in.

Whilst we understand that to err is human, Maarohanye must now learn that as a community leader and role model to her brood of schoolchildren, she must act in a manner that is exemplary to them.

That requires her to make a clean break with her past image of being a rabble-rouser who surrounded herself with children with a menacing demeanour.

As the Dalai Lama will always say, whenever we lose or falter in life, we must not lose the lesson.

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