Johannesburg - When on trial two years ago, Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye told the Protea Magistrate’s Court he had never taken drugs.
On Thursday, in his second appeal, the disgraced hip-hop star said the reason why his conviction should be altered to lesser offences was because he was “high”.
Maarohanye on Thursday tried yet again to appeal against his 25-year conviction, this time claiming his euphoric mental state meant he had no awareness of the dangers of drag racing through busy Soweto streets. He also admitted that he had been driving recklessly and that the witnesses who saw the race were accurate in what they told the court.
He and fellow convicted murderer Themba Tshabalala were found guilty on four counts of murder after ploughing into a group of pedestrians travelling through Protea Glen four years ago, killing four schoolchildren.
The pair were given life sentences for murder, attempted murder, reckless driving and driving under the influence of drugs.
The star was first denied leave to appeal in February last year. In November, Maarohanye applied to be released on bail while he awaited his second appeal application, but this was denied.
Maarohanye’s lawyer, Willie Vermeulen, argued that his client had been convicted for murder dolus eventualis. This means the court found Maarohanye and Tshabalala had an understanding of the damage they could cause by their behaviour, and therefore had an indirect intention to kill.
However, Vermeulen insisted that because of his client’s use of drugs on the day of the race, the dolus eventualis argument no longer stood. He argued that Maarohanye’s four murder convictions should be replaced with culpable homicide charges, with the attempted murder convictions falling away entirely.
Vermeulen asked for an eight-year sentence to replace the 25 years his client was serving.
State advocate Raymond Mathenjwa said the two men’s sudden change of heart had emerged from the “harsh reality of a prison sentence”. He added the pair had also not taken enough drugs for their behaviour to be excused on the basis of not understanding the consequences of their actions.
Tshabalala’s lawyer, Mlungiseleli Soviti, called for all his convictions to be overturned as he had crashed into the pedestrians only because Maarohanye had crashed into the back of his car.