Molemo “Jub-Jub” Maarohanye on Friday asked the Protea Magistrate’s Court for an expert to analyse the cellphone used to record him and his co-accused Temba Tshabalala allegedly racing.
Maarohanye’s lawyer Ike Motloung said he wanted his own expert to analyse the cellphone and memory card. The memory card was still in the possession of an 18-year-old witness testifying against the two men.
Ntokozo Mahlangu, who recorded the video, said she refused to give the defence her memory card as it had private data on it.
State prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa objected to Motloung’s application and asked the magistrate to wait until the police technical support unit (TSU) testified.
He said it was “not safe” to release the cellphone, which was already evidence in the case, until the TSU had testified.
The video’s credibility was questioned in court earlier on Friday. Motloung asked Mahlangu whether it was possible to edit a video by adding sounds and changing the speed at which objects moved. She replied it was.
Motloung was cross-examining Mahlangu, who often shook her head and rolled her eyes, on how she recorded the video and what she saw before and after she did so.
There was controversy over two copies of the video. One of the videos downloaded by the police had been edited to move in slow motion.
When Mahlangu smiled during the cross-examination, Motloung asked her if she was aware of how serious the matter was.
Mahlangu said she was smiling because she was overwhelmed to see “Jub-Jub”.
“If you continue to smile, I’m going to start asking you if you are lying,” Motloung told her.
Out of memory
The five-second video was viewed in court on Friday morning and showed two Mini Coopers pulling off next to one another.
A grey Mini Cooper, said to be Maarohanye’s, was in the lead. Tshabalala’s one was blue. Mahlangu testified that when she stopped filming, she saw one of the Mini Coopers swerve out of the way of an oncoming car. Once the car had passed, one of the Mini Coopers moved into the other lane again.
Mahlangu said she stopped recording because she ran out of memory on her phone.
She said she was standing on the corner of Mdlalose Street with her friends when she saw the two cars. Mahlangu said girls were heard shouting on the video when they spotted “Jub-Jub”, a “celebrity”.
Maarohanye and Tshabalala face charges of murder and attempted murder and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. They were allegedly drag-racing when one of their Mini Coopers ploughed into a group of school children on Mdlalose Street, in Protea North, on March 8 last year.
Four children died and two others suffered severe injuries, including brain damage.
Court proceedings were halted on Wednesday when state prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa was unable to open Mahlangu’s phone, which had been blocked because it had not been RICA’d and not used for six months.
He told the court on Friday that the police’s technical centre unblocked the device.
Maarohanye, who wore a black suit and blue silk tie, sat in the dock making notes while Mahlangu was being cross-examined. Tshabalala sat with his head lowered.
Magistrate Brian Nemabidi adjourned the matter until June 21 and 22 and extended the men’s bail. — Sapa