South African rapper 'Jub Jub' guilty of murder

HARARE - South African rapper Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye has been convicted of murder and attempted murder after driving into a group of schoolchildren in 2010.

Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi also convicted Maarohanye of racing on a public road and driving under the influence of drugs.

Maarohanye smashed his car into a group of pupils in Soweto in 2010, killing four of them and wounding two others.

Family members and schoolchildren cried as the judgement was handed down.

Maarohanye was one of South Africa's best-known musicians, but he fell from grace after the crash, the BBC's Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says.

Maarohanye's co-accused, Themba Tshabalala, was also convicted of the charges.

They were allegedly drag-racing when their vehicles crashed into the children.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Both had been out on bail since March 2010, sparking protests among pupils who demanded their imprisonment.

The court room in Soweto, the main black township in Johannesburg, was packed and there were emotional scenes when the verdict was given.

One of the parents fainted and had to be carried out of the court room.

The court ruled that Maarohanye and Tshabalala were on cocaine and morphine when the accident happened.

The justice department welcomed the ruling, Sapa news agency reports.

"[The conviction] is clear confirmation of justice not only done but manifestly seen to be done," its spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga is quoted as saying.

"We commend the National Prosecuting Authority's aggressive stance of charging irresponsible drivers with murder instead of the usual culpable homicide, which usually attracts non-custodial sentences."

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