Parents of schoolboys killed in a drag racing event involving Molemo Maarohanye are angry after the hip-hop star made a public apology on Soweto TV at the weekend.
The families were left seething after the man popularly known as Jub Jub conveyed his condolences and offered to erect tombstones for Andile Mthombeni, Prince Mohube, Mlungisi Cwayi and Phomello Masemola – four boys killed in a deadly drag racing incident two years ago.
With sunglasses on and a white beanie pulled down over the shades, Jub Jub told his host, Lerato Kganyago, that “a part of me” died when the incident happened on the afternoon of March 8, 2010.
Having missed the Saturday night show, two of the mothers spoke of their anger after they were told about it on Sunday.
“I will never accept his apology. I don’t want anything from him. I don’t want a cent from that man,” said a mother who did not want to be named.
The woman’s son was killed along with three other boys when two Mini Coopers belonging to Maarohanye and his friend Themba Tshabalala veered off Mdlalose Street and ploughed into them. Two other boys were critically injured.
“We’ve been misquoted so many times. I don’t want my name in the papers anymore. This whole issue has taken a toll on us. We just want closure, but he feels the need to go on TV and open old wounds. What on earth gives him the right to go talk about our children on TV? Why on TV instead of approaching us? His apology is late… it’s two years late.”
In the interview, Maarohanye said he could not apologise or approach the families to help with funeral expenses following the incident as he had been behind bars.
“What about his family members? What about those wrinkled women who always accompany him to court? He’s talking rubbish. In a spirit of ubuntu, someone from his family should have come just to say we sympathise with you… that’s all we wanted,” said the second woman.
A relative who also declined to be named spoke about Phomello’s mother, who is a teacher at the school where three of the boys, including her son, schooled.
“Imagine what Mpumi’s (Phomello) mother is going through. She drove with her son and the other boy… Mlungisi to school every single day. How does she feel? You can imagine the life that woman is leading,” said a neighbour, who refused to give his name.
Mameetse Masemola would not be drawn to comment on Maarohanye’s apology.
In the 30-minute interview, Maarohanye apologised for causing the accident and pleaded for the families’ understanding.
“I send my condolences to all the families. I didn’t plan to be there that day. What happened… it was God’s plan. I’d like to apologise for the accident that I did not plan. If any of them are watching… I was not allowed to bury any of the kids because I was still arrested at the time. All I wish is to put tombstones on all of them.
“I plead for their understanding… I’m a parent myself, so I can’t say I don’t understand what happened or how they feel,” he said.
But from what two of the mothers said, it appeared the star – believed to have been high on cocaine – cut too deep a wound to heal with a mere “sorry”.
“I sat in court listening to him saying he did not hit our children but that he hit the trees. He said his car didn’t have blood. He should go and apologise to those trees… to trees that pulled apart my son’s spine,” said one woman.
Like the first boy’s mother, she said Maarohanye should leave their families out of his “publicity stunts” and let them heal and move on.
“He takes drugs, gets high and goes on TV to talk rubbish. He just makes my blood boil. He never felt the need to apologise. Why now? He should just go on with his life. We have left everything in God’s hands.”
Maarohanye, who faces charges of murder, attempted murder and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, is still out on R10 000 bail. He and Tshabalala are expected back in court on May 8. - The Star