dube fan cannot represent suspect

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

An advocate representing one of the men implicated in the murder of reggae superstar Lucky Dube has dumped him in a case involving the theft of cables totalling R150000.

Jerry Koma withdrew from defending Ludweg Julius Nxowa who yesterday appeared together with Abednigo Shongwe, 26, Sdumo Ranamane, 36, Morena Moloi, 26, Phiwe Nxumalo, 37, Letshaisa Moeketsi, 24, and Simphiwe Khumalo, 24, charged with cable theft.

The accused are alleged to have stolen the cables from Roshcon, a subsidiary of Eskom Enterprises Division in Balfour, Mpumalanga.

They had in their previous appearance been granted bail of R4000 each. It was while on bail for the cable theft case that Nxowa, together with three other men, were implicated in Dube's murder.

Koma told the Balfour regional court that he was withdrawing from defending the Mozambican national since he was convinced that Nxowa was a criminal, and because he [Koma] was a Dube fan.

"I successfully applied for bail for Nxowa after he was arrested on allegations of cable theft last year and always believed that he was innocent," Koma said

He said he felt that if he had not successfully applied for Nxowa's bail, a chance could have existed that Dube's life could have been spared.

The advocated said as much as he believed that one is presumed innocent until proven otherwise, he believed that there would have been a conflict of interest if he continued to represent Nxowa because of his personal love for Dube.

Balfour magistrate Gerald van der Merwe postponed Nxowa's case to March 20 for trial. Nxowa will remain in custody.

Koma later told Sowetan that many people were hurt by Dube's death, and that if he were to defend Nxowa, "he would look like someone who was unpatriotic".