The Protea Magistrates Court today heard from the defence why Maarohanye and Tshabalala should not receive hefty sentences. Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi found Maarohanye and Tshabalala guilty on four counts of murder, two of attempted murder, using drugs, racing on a public road and driving under the influence of drugs.
The sentence breakdown is as follows: 20 years for murder, four for attempted murder, one for racing, reckless driving and drugs.
In his sentencing, Nemavhidi said the court could not ignore the attitude of society, the personal circumstances of offenders or the impact on the victims of the incident. Nemavhidi emphasised that Maarohanye was an “active member” of society and had much to contribute.
He went on to chastise the duo for knowingly driving while under the influence of narcotics and therefore endangering the lives of community members. Nemavhidi added that the four deceased boys would never fulfill their role in society due to the duo’s reckless actions.
According to Nemavhidi, a plea for mercy was considered, although in sentencing he had ensured the punishment fitted the crime and the criminal. He further questioned Maarohanye’s efforts to establish a trust fund and attempt to apologise to the family two years later. Nemavhidi branded this an insult to the victims' families.
In preceding arguments, Rudi Krause, Maarohanye’s lawyer, argued that Maarohanye could still be rehabilitated outside prison and still had a lot to offer the community.
Krause said Maarohanye was not a danger to society and this was backed up by a social worker who testified Maarohanye should rather receive a suspended sentence with many hours of community work.
In addition it was argued that prison would “break “ Maarohanye.
When asked how jail had been the past six weeks, Marohaanye stated: "It's not good. I don't know how else to answer that question. I don't want to go to prison."
The court also heard how Maarohanye felt he had been persecuted by the media. He complained the media had misled the public into proving him guilty before his trial had started.
"This case has been driven by the media and the media has misled a lot of people. A lot of what is said in the media is wrong – it's the truth, the media knows it themselves."
Maarohanye admitted to using ecstasy during his sentencing trial. "I had a lot of time to reflect on what happened when I was in correctional services… I took ecstasy once or twice a long time ago," Maarohanye said.
"I said I never took the drugs that were found in my urine."
However, Prosecutor Raymond Mathenjwa dismissed Maarohanye’s statements, adding that he was in denial and barely showed remorse.
Mathenjwa said Maarohanye blamed everyone for what happened and never took responsibility for his actions.
"You are in constant denial, and [are] not remorseful," Mathenjwa said. He went on to question Maarohanye on the difference between being regretful and remorseful.
Additional source: Twitter