maarohanye appeals

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

Convicted kidnapper Jackey Maarohanye is refusing to go down without a fight.

The Ithuteng Trust director is now bidding to overturn a kidnap conviction - with a four-year imprisonment sentence - meted out by a Protea court magistrate early this month.

But an experienced lawyer said yesterday that her woes could get worse.

An appeal judge could increase the sentence if he found that her sentence warranted heavier punishment. The judge could also confirm the sentence - or decrease it.

Yesterday she was granted leave to appeal the conviction and sentence for kidnapping former pupil Simphiwe Ncoguthu.

Maarohanye , 50, was sentenced to four years' imprisonment with an option of an R8000 fine.

Her co-accused, Ronnie "Papa Action" Nyakale, 34, and Mpho Makhate, 24, were each fined R10000 or six years in prison.

The sentence was greeted with anger by her kidnapping victim.

Ncoguthu was particularly bitter because he was forced to MOVE from Orlando, Soweto, to an undisclosed place because he said he feared for his life after laying charges against his assailants.

The former Ithuteng student was kidnapped and severely assaulted before being paraded naked in the street in early 2006.

He said he still suffered pains all over his body.

But Maarohanye is determined to prove her innocence in court.

Her lawyer, Victor Mashele, said no date had been set yet for the appeal in the Johannesburg high court.

"She has appealed because she believes she is not guilty." Mashele said.

"We will be documenting all the details in preparation for the matter."

Magistrate David Mango granted her leave to appeal.

The state had opposed the application.

An attorney from Webber Wentzel Attorneys, Dario Milo, said it could get worse for Maarohanye if the decision went against her.

Milo said a judge in an appeal matter usually reviews the sentencing based on the evidence led in the magistrate's court.

If a judge feels that there was a clear error in the judgment, he could increase the sentence.

"So, yes, it could get worse for her," he said.

On the other hand, an appeal court judge could decrease the sentence if it was regarded as too harsh.