Dube murder suspects in court

IN THE DOCK: S'fiso Mhlanga, left, Julius Gxowa and Mbuti Mabe, who are accused of murdering reggae musician Lucky Dube, pictured in the Johannesburg high court yesterday. 02/02/09. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. © Sowetan.
IN THE DOCK: S'fiso Mhlanga, left, Julius Gxowa and Mbuti Mabe, who are accused of murdering reggae musician Lucky Dube, pictured in the Johannesburg high court yesterday. 02/02/09. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. © Sowetan.

Katlego Moeng

Katlego Moeng

Three men accused of murdering world-renowned reggae musician Lucky Dube are finally facing trial, 15 months after the icon's death.

"Show your faces you dogs, let them see who you are," said a woman in the Johannesburg high court as the men tried to hide their faces.

The accused are S'fiso Mhlanga, 32, Julius Gxowa, 30, and Mbuti Mabe, 29. They have pleaded not guilty to six charges - three of car hijacking, murder, possession of two illegal firearms and ammunition.

Judge Seun Moshidi allowed the media to take photographs and film the court proceedings.

Prosecutor Advocate Lethabo Mashiane submitted that Captain Hendriana Blignaut had done ballistics tests on a gun found in the house of one of the accused and linked it to Dube's car where he had also done ballistics testing.

An identification parade at Johannesburg central police station on October 29 2007, 11 days after Dube's murder, also allegedly linked the suspects to two other cases of hijacking.

Mashiane told the court he intended calling several witnesses, including police officers who investigated the Dube case, to prove that the accused were involved in at least two other hijackings and had indeed murdered Dube.

Melissa Mallworth was the only witness to testify yesterday. Her VW Polo Playa was allegedly hijacked at gunpoint by the accused on the night of October 13 at her home in Brackenhurst, Johannesburg, as she tried to open her gate.

Siphiwe Mlaba was also allegedly hijacked by the accused on October 20. He is also expected to testify.

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