South African pop star guilty of drag-race child murders

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 16, 2012 8:33 AM
South African pop star guilty of drag-race child murders

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - One of South Africa's foremost hip hop musicians was convicted on Tuesday of murdering four school children while street racing, drunk and on drugs, through Soweto, bringing an end to a trial that has gripped the country for more than two years.

The court found Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and his friend, Themba Tshabalala, guilty on four counts of murder and two of attempted murder after their speeding Mini Coopers ploughed into the children as they walked back from school in the sprawling Johannesburg township in March 2010.

"The death of the deceased was caused by the accused's reckless driving at high speeds while under the influence of drugs and alcohol," judge Brian Nemavhidi said.

The pair have not yet been sentenced but could face life in prison.

A TV personality and music star, Maarohanye appeared emotionless as he heard the verdict, which was broadcast live on television. The mother of one of the victims passed out during the proceedings and had to be carried from the court.

Road accidents kill nearly 40 people every day in South Africa, with unreliable vehicles and poor driving - including excessive speeding and drunkenness - mostly to blame.

(Reporting by Peroshni Govender; Editing by Ed Cropley)