Crash victim suffers memory loss, Jub Jub trial told

A child who sustained brain injuries in an accident involving musician Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and Temba Tshabalala could not remember anything, the Protea Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday.

Wiping away tears, Joel Mushwana told the court that his son, Fumani, suffered from memory loss. “If I ask for water, he stands in front of the fridge with the glass in his hand,” Mushwana testified.

Maarohanye and Tshabalala bowed their heads and closed their eyes as he gave evidence.

Four children died when one of the accused’s Mini Coopers ploughed into a group of schoolchildren while allegedly drag-racing in Mdlalose Street, Protea North, last year.

They face charges of murder, attempted murder and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Internal bleeding
A second survivor of the crash, Frank Mlambo, also sustained brain injuries. His mother, Martha Tinyiko Mlambo, told the court she was at work when she found out what had happened.

Her son was not moving when she visited him at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath hospital at 8pm on the night of the accident, she said. “He was on a stretcher.”

Her son was moved to the trauma unit and then to the intensive-care unit, where he stayed from March 9, the day after the accident, to early May. He spent 19 more days in another ward before being taken home.

She told the court he had no fractures, but had internal bleeding that affected his brain.

On arriving at home, Frank had to learn how to eat, walk and talk again. He also had to use adult diapers.

“I had to take care of him as a small baby,” Mlambo testified.

He asked his mother whether he had been stabbed.

He also wanted to go back to school, which he eventually did, but he could not write properly and did not pass his exams. He had since been moved to another school where all he could do was woodwork, she said.

“He doesn’t remember,” she told the court.

Cocaine and morphine
Earlier, a police officer at the scene of the accident testified that at the time of their arrests, both Maarohanye and Tshabalala tested positive for cocaine and morphine. Tshabalala had alcohol in his blood, Maarohanye none.

Also dissected in court on Wednesday was the previous cross-examination of a crime intelligence cyber-unit police officer who copied on to DVD a cellphone video purportedly showing Maarohanye and Tshabalala drag racing.

At the request of state prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa, magistrate Brian Nemabidi ordered that the policeman not be identified for “security reasons”.

Maarohanye’s lawyer, Ike Motloung, accused the policeman of “speaking in circles” and also questioned whether the speed of a video could be altered.

The trial was postponed to July 11 as the defence needed time to go through documents to prepare for the upcoming testimony of two forensic experts. — Sapa

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