'send them away'

Thokozani, son  of murdered reggae star, Lucky Dube greets members of the Shembe church outside the Johannesburg high court. The three men accused of Dube's murder were found guilty and will be sentenced on thrusday 2 April 2009. Pic: VATHISWA RUSELO. 01/04/2009. © Sowetan.
Thokozani, son of murdered reggae star, Lucky Dube greets members of the Shembe church outside the Johannesburg high court. The three men accused of Dube's murder were found guilty and will be sentenced on thrusday 2 April 2009. Pic: VATHISWA RUSELO. 01/04/2009. © Sowetan.

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

There are no compelling circumstances for Lucky Dube's killers to get a minimum sentence, except that they are fathers.

This is according to the three's defence counsels - Advocates Vuyo Jack, Mpho Milubi and Vincent Soko. In their mitigation of sentence, they even forgot to mention that their clients were remorseful.

"Now that he has been convicted, accused one is sorry about what he did," said Jack after the judge had asked him if his client was at all remorseful.

The only submissions made by the lawyers were that Sifiso Mhlanga, Julius Gxowa and Mbuti Mabe had children, their level of education and family background.

The three also stunned the court when they simply agreed with the judge and prosecution that their clients were not fit to own firearms, even after they were given an opportunity to oppose the matter.

In aggravation of sentence, state prosecutor Advocate Lethabo Mashiane said the three can never be rehabilitated and should be removed from society for at least 25 years before they are considered for parole.

He told the Johannesburg high court that the killers should be sentenced to life in prison for Dube's murder and a further 15 years each for robbery and hijacking.

"They are not candidates for rehabilitation and should be removed from society ..." Mashiane said.

On Tuesday, the three men were found guilty of murder and robbery, hijacking and possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Judge Seun Moshidi is expected to pass judgment today.

"As you all know that sentencing is the difficult part of a trial, the court would like to consider this matter further and go through today's arguments.

"Sentencing will be tomorrow morning," the judge said yesterday.

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