Molemo 'Jub Jub' Maarohanye is at home and will be spending 2017 as a free man. The South African singer and his friend Themba Tshabalala were released on parole Thursday after spending four out of eight years in prison. They were convicted in 2012 for killing four children while drag racing in Protea Glen while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Two other children were left with permanent brain damage.
What was initially a 20-year prison sentence for murder, was overturned by the South Gauteng High Court to a charge of culpable homicide with only eight years to serve.
The two have been released into the custody of their families. The Department of Correctional Services says they will still do the rest of their time through community service and will be under supervision until the end of the sentence.
Move Magazine reported in its 15 December issue that the families of the children Maarohanye and Tshabalala killed had forgiven them. Some of the families were involved in the parole hearings and it is unclear if all of them have forgiven the two.
Jub Jub is set to spend the new year at home. Get yourself a copy of Move for the full story pic.twitter.com/BmZI7CXQeH— Move! magazine SA (@MoveMag) December 15, 2016
Some accepted the families' decision and wished the pair well.
I read somewhere that part of the reason he got parole was that the families of the victims forgave him. Who are we not to? #JubJub— Vha Musanda (@freedom_ride) January 5, 2017
Jub Jub is a Free man ... I'm happy for him & his son ... #JubJub— 👑Halala'Mhlongo IG: (@HugzLarni) January 5, 2017
Others disagreed with the decision to parole them and said they hoped the experience had changed them for the better.
Victims and their families never get justice in SA. #jubjub is already out after killing people's children 😢.— 🍓 (@_lethabo17) January 5, 2017
Killer driver #JubJub is free, good 4 him sadly those families will never see their kids alive again— Mr StateCapture (@Morata4) January 5, 2017
4 years in an SA prison must feel like a lifetime , hope #JubJub used his parole to rebuild himself and do his for the community— Thabang Phetla (@tarantular) January 5, 2017
There were also those who are looking forward to Jub Jub's return to the music scene.
More hip hop music Yes!#JubJub— WORLD LOVES RIRIH♥♥♥ (@sr501e) January 5, 2017
Twitter user @Ckabopha provided a sobering reminder of what prison is for.
Prison is a rehabilitation centre, making punishment secondary. If a prisoner is rehabilitated, he or she is eligible for parole #JubJub— AddWin (@Ckabopha) January 5, 2017