Dube mistaken for Nigerian

2009-02-03 19:03

Johannesburg - Reggae star Lucky Dube was allegedly shot dead because one of his assailants thought he was a Nigerian national, the Johannesburg High Court heard on Tuesday.

Mpho Maropeng, wife to Thabo Maropeng whose charges had since been dropped, said on the day of Dube's death four men including her husband had driven to Rosettenville.

This is according to information related to her by Thabo a day after the incident.

She said Thabo told her what had happened after receiving a call from one of the accused, Mbuti Mabe, telling him to watch a television broadcast showing Dube's death.

'He wanted to tell me something'

"I was also watching... they were showing Lucky Dube singing and depicted a vehicle which had crashed into a tree. That's when Thabo said he wanted to tell me something.

"He told me that they had driven to Rosettenville after we separated the previous day.

"He said they drove around, all four of them, in the Polo. They stopped in a certain spot in Rosettenville. A Chrysler C200 stopped close by during which time accused number one and two went out of the VW and approached the Chrysler.

"While Thabo and accused number three remained in the car. He said they then heard the first gunshot going off and accused number three told Thabo to go see what had happened.

'He thought he was Nigerian'

"Thabo said he went to the car, placed both hands on the roof and looked [at] what had happened before going back to the Polo.

"During this time a second shot went off and he said that accused number one and two came back and told them to drive off."

Mpho said that when she asked Thabo why they had shot Dube he told her that Mabe had told him that "he did not see it was him (Dube). He thought it was a Nigerian national."

Judge Moshidi adjourned the trial until Wednesday and requested that the defence counsel listen and familiarise themselves with the taped evidence of Mpho.

Mabe, Sifiso Mhlanga and Julius Xowa, all in their thirties, are on trial for the murder of Dube outside his brother's house in Rosettenville, southern Johannesburg, on October 13, 2007.