Legal battles keep on coming

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Ithuteng Trust director Jackey Maarohanye's first brush with the law was when Kliptown police charged her with public violence and malicious damage to property in 2006.

In October of that year, Mama Jackey and her students had staged a march that turned violent. They were protesting against alleged police negligence around a fire that had broken out at Ithuteng in Klipspruit, Soweto. A boy died in the blaze.

A warrant of arrest was issued for her but she claimed police were harassing her. That year, she was exposed by a TV programme for making her students fabricate tales of murdered parents, rape and destitution in order to raise money.

She got sponsorships from big corporations, as well as from US TV talkshow host Oprah Winfrey, basketball stars and famous celebrities.

When Sowetan reporter Vusi Ndlovu was sent to the school to interview her in 2007, he was detained and assaulted by students.

Maarohanye was later acquitted for the assault by the Protea magistrate's court.

A few months later, former pupil Simphiwe Ncoguthu was kidnapped and assaulted at the school.

Maarohanye, Ronnie "Papa Action" Nyakale and Mpho Makate were given suspended sentences last year.

She got away with a four- year imprisonment sentence with an option of an R8000 fine. Her co-accused were each fined R10000 or six years imprisonment.

Following the storming of Ithuteng by residents, police confirmed that she had opened a case of malicious damage to property against the community.

In turn, they also opened a case of assault against her and the students.

Kliptown police said the cases were currently being heard at the Kliptown magistrate's court.