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THE FAMILY of Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye has denied claims that the disgraced hip-hop artist tried to commit suicide behind bars.

Rumours abounded this week that Maarohanye, who is serving an effective 25-year imprisonment, had tried to kill himself. He was sentenced earlier this month after he was convicted along with Themba Tshabalala for murder, attempted murder, drag racing and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Four schoolchildren were killed when the two crashed their Mini Coopers while drag-racing in the streets of Soweto in March, 2010.

As Maarohanye prepares to spend his first Christmas behind bars, rumours started doing the rounds that he had tried to commit suicide. His family rubbished these claims yesterday.

“Anyone, if convicted and serving time (in jail), has the right to appeal. It gives him hope. I don’t even want to entertain that (suicide rumour) because the boy knows there is a lot to be done and that there is still hope,” said Mogosi Moleko, Maarohanye’s uncle.

Maarohanye is due to appeal his sentence in the new year. Moleko, who was among the few of Maarohanye’s relatives who regularly attended his marathon trial, said he (Maarohanye) was finding solace in divine providence.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to see him recently, but the feedback I got is that the boy is doing well. He understands his situation and that there is nothing he can do about it, except that there is hope in the appeal. Molemo has always been religious.

“He is a Christian and he reads the Bible more than before.”

Towards the conclusion of his trial, Maarohanye came to court clutching a Bible which he read in the dock. Correctional Services Department also dismissed the suicide rumours as “baseless and unfounded”.

“It would appear that there are some malicious persons out there who are trying to create an unnecessary and unwarranted hype around the detention of this offender (Maarohanye) and that is absolutely not fair,” said Ofentse Morwane, departmental spokesman.

He added that Maarohanye was convicted by a court of law and should be allowed to serve his sentence “just like any other offender”.

Maarohanye is serving his sentence in Johannesburg Prison, popularly known as “Sun City”.

Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi sentenced him and Tshabalala earlier this month to 20 years each for the four murders, four years each for two attempted murders, a year each for driving under the influence of drugs, a year each for using drugs and another year each for drag-racing.