Shock and panic as cops foil escape bid

Katlego Moeng and Sapa

Katlego Moeng and Sapa

News of the attempted escape yesterday by the three men convicted of the murder of Lucky Dube sent shock down several spines.

The mother of one of the state witnesses in the case was in such a panic that she dropped what she was doing at home and headed for the Johannesburg high court, "just to make sure the police were in control".

Sifiso Mhlanga, Julio Shirindza (Julius Gxowa) and Mbuti Mabe were yesterday found guilty of murdering the reggae star.

Nomfundo Skhosana was Sifiso Mhlanga's girlfriend at the time of the murder and she gave evidence against him.

Her mother, Lindiwe Skhosana, told Sowetan that after her daughter's testimony, the family started getting phone calls from Mhlanga saying "we sold him out and that they would get us".

The attempted escape happened at about 7.30am as the truck transporting prisoners from Johannesburg Prison arrived at the courts.

The first two pairs of prisoners came out of the truck and were cuffed and chained. The third pair included one of the men accused of murdering Dube.

As the two men were stepping down from the truck, both pushed hard at one of the vehicle's doors, causing it to knock down a police officer. . A second officer was then struck by a brick in the face.

But police managed to handcuff the detainees at gunpoint as they all lay on the floor.

Three officers sustained minor injuries, while a fourth was more seriously hurt after being hit by a brick on the mouth.