Investigating officer takes stand at Jub Jub trial

The investigating officer in the case of murder accused Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and Themba Tshabalala testified in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Inspector Mpho Matshidiso, who last took the stand during the bail application, was the officer who had transported the accused’s urine samples to a forensic laboratory in Johannesburg.

He testified that he had received two blood samples and two urine samples on March 9 last year. He had taken the samples to the laboratory on March 18.

When state prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa asked why it had taken nine says for the samples to be taken to the laboratory, Matshidiso said this was because he was waiting for a letter from the senior prosecutor at the court to give him the go-ahead.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala were allegedly drag-racing when one of their Mini Coopers ploughed into a group of schoolchildren on Mdlalose Drive in Protea North on March 8 2011.

Four children died in the accident and two others suffered severe injuries, including brain damage.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala face charges of murder and attempted murder and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Wide media coverage
Defence lawyer Ike Motloung cross-examined Matshidiso on Tuesday afternoon.

He asked Matshidiso if he had left instructions at the laboratory for analysts to specifically look for morphine and cocaine.

Matshidiso said he had not.

Earlier in the day forensic analyst Jose van Rooyen told the court that she was given a note to look for certain substances in the urine samples.

Motloung said there had been wide media coverage of the case with reports saying preliminary tests had found morphine and cocaine in the samples.

Van Rooyen said that when she was given the samples she was told that the case was high profile and had seen some of the media reports.

Van Rooyen is a forensic analyst for the department of health at its forensic laboratory in Johannesburg.

Motloung cross-examined Van Rooyen on Tuesday on how she conducted the analysis of the urine samples.

Van Rooyen testified that a number of drugs were found in the urine samples of Maarohanye and Tshabalala.

She told the court that the first sample was found to contain cocaine, codeine, benzoyl codeine, paracetamol, diphenhydramine and cotamine.

The second sample contained traces of cocaine, codeine, benzoyl codeine, nicotine, caffeine and paracetamol.

“These are all drugs,” she said.

She said the samples did not show the levels of the substances.

Quality control
Van Rooyen told the court that every piece of equipment she used to conduct the analysis was certified and that a quality control test was conducted before the analysis started.

She also told the court that she was a forensic analysis expert, but was not a toxicologist and could not say how the drugs would affect a person’s behaviour.

As Maarohanye left the courtroom for the lunch break, family members of the children who died shouted, “In the end you killed.”

One of the women, who did not want to be named, said as he walked out “he told us to fuck off”.

Courtroom six at the Protea North court house filled up in the course of Tuesday’s proceedings.

Relatives wore T-shirts for the “Parents in Action” organisation, which they started against drug and alcohol abuse. — Sapa

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