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Mama Jackey gets 'light sentence'

Published Feb 15, 2008

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Mama Jackey has been fined R8 000 for kidnapping, assaulting and parading Simphiwe Ncoguthu naked in Soweto, which has left him bitter and incredulous.

Mama Jackey, whose real name is Jacqueline Maarohanye, was convicted along with her accomplices Ronnie "Papa Action" Nyakale and Mpho Makhate on two counts of kidnapping and three of assaulting Ncoguthu.

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The former Ithuteng Trust pupil was attacked after he was accused of rape.

He was initially accused of influencing other pupils to take part in a Carte Blanche programme, which was meant to expose wrongdoings at Ithuteng Trust.

Nyakale, 34, and Makhate,24, were each sentenced to six years' imprisonment, with an option of a R10 000 fine, at the Protea magistrate's court.

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However, Maarohanye received a lesser sentence after magistrate David Mhango accepted her lawyer's plea that she be convicted on only one count of kidnapping.

The verdict was met with jubilation in the courtroom.

Maarohanye embraced her accomplices and then turned to her husband Sydney, who had been sitting behind her, to embrace him.

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As the celebrations continued outside the courtroom, a tearful Ncoguthu, 24, who had cut a lonely figure throughout the proceedings, spoke about his ordeal and of his disappointment at the sentence.

"I am not happy at all. The justice system sucks," he said in a trembling voice.

He added: "They may give them a light sentence, but the important thing is that they will never clear their names as convicted criminals."

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Ncoguthu said the incident had left him so traumatised that he was contemplating leaving Gauteng for good.

"I can't socialise anymore. If a car stops next to me, I get so terrified that I want to run away, thinking that they want to kidnap me," he said.

In handing down the sentence, Mhango said he wanted to deter Maarohanye and her accomplices from committing similar crimes.

"What I have seen in this court is that the people of Soweto think they can just assault anyone as they please.

"This is a situation that the courts, and especially this one, will not tolerate," Mhango said, in an apparent reference to Maarohanye's supporters.

"The court can only ensure that by meting out an appropriate sentence which will send a loud and clear message. That sentence has to be in the interest of society and law-abiding residents of Soweto, who are sick and tired of these senseless crimes," the magistrate added.

Mhango said, however, the fact that all the accused were first-time offenders weighed in their favour, and it was "a pity" they committed these crimes.

"Even now, I don't understand why you did this."

Referring directly to Maarohanye Mhango said: "As a leader, I expect you to be a shining star to your students and the community. To parade a man naked in the street is one of the most humiliating and degrading crimes that I will not tolerate.

"You sought to exonerate yourself by laying false charges of rape against him so that no successful prosecution against you may take place," Mhango said shortly before pronouncing sentence.

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