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A video allegedly showing murder accused Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and co-accused Themba Tshabalala drag racing was not tampered with, the Protea Magistrate's Court heard on Monday.
“I would say no,” video expert Riana Smalberger answered when asked for her professional opinion by Tshabalala's lawyer Mlungiseleli Sovithi.
Maarohanye and Tshabalala face charges of murder, attempted murder, and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
They were allegedly racing their Mini Coopers when they crashed into a group of school children in Mdlalose Street, in Protea North, on March 8, 2010. Four boys died and two were seriously injured.
Ike Motloung, for Maarohanye, earlier asked Smalberger whether there was software capable of editing the video on the cellphone. She replied that there was.
Motloung had explained to her how the cellphone showing the two men allegedly racing was confiscated.
“The evidence was seriously compromised,” she said.
Motloung said the owner of the phone was first allowed to delete items from the phone and the police later tried to open the phone.
Smalberger said police should have used proper methodology. Information on the phone could have been deleted.
“It's forensically incorrect. You're compromising evidence.”
She said 10 of the 12 videos made on the day of the accident were deleted. She was able to recover only two.
“The video files have to be in a continuous state for me to view it.”
Motloung asked her why the owner of the cellphone would delete 10 of the videos.
“I wouldn't be able to say,” she said, adding that there was no way she could determine the date on which they were deleted.
State prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa finished the day's proceedings with brief questions on what was seen in the four-second video.
He questioned Smalberger on the distance of the two cars from each other.
“I would say they were quite close, yes,” she replied, adding that Tshabalala's car's wheels crossed the middle line in the road at one point.
Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi postponed the trial to July 13 for closing arguments. - Sapa