/ 22 October 2007

Lucky Dube funeral to be kept private

The funeral of slain reggae singer Lucky Dube will be a private affair, family spokesperson Arnold Mabunda said on Monday.

”The family requested that the funeral be a private matter due to Lucky’s beliefs and the church’s request.

”They have requested that it not be turned into a circus, so media will not be allowed. That’s not what Lucky would have wanted,” he said.

Dube, a Shembe worshipper, was shot dead during an apparent hijack attempt last week while dropping his two children at his brother’s house in Rosettenville.

His four alleged killers, aged between 31 and 35, were arrested in Spruitview, on the East Rand, on Sunday morning.

Mabunda said the media would be allowed to attend the memorial service to be held at the Bassline in Newtown on Wednesday, and on Sunday they could only attend the church service.

He said police indicated that they would oppose bail for the four and an ID parade would be conducted during the course of the week.

Founding president of the Communication Workers’ Union of South Africa (CWUSA), Mabutho ”Kid” Sithole, said they respected Lucky’s and his family’s wishes.

”CWUSA also took a decision not to gather outside the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court for the appearance of the four on Tuesday,” Sithole said.

It was earlier reported that five suspects had been arrested in connection with Dube’s murder, but police have since said the fifth person could not be linked to the murder.

Sithole said the union would march to the office of Gauteng minister of safety and security Firoz Cachalia on Wednesday.

”We are demanding that the resolution of this matter happen very fast, as in the Leigh Matthews and Brett Kebble murders.

”The government has a responsibility and commitment to protect entertainers and the citizenry of this country. Does the [provincial minister] have a plan to end all this [crime] in Gauteng — if so, what is it, we demand to know,” Sithole said.

The union also said given the rumour doing the rounds that some of the arrested suspects were not South Africans, the Home Affairs Department should perform thorough screening when issuing permits and citizenry documents.

It called for a collective effort in fighting crime

Dube’s funeral service will take place at Farmers’ Hall in Newcastle on Sunday.


After the murder, President Thabo Mbeki made an appeal to South Africans to confront the ”scourge” of crime together. ”This is indeed very, very sad that this happened to an outstanding South African — an outstanding musician, world renowned,” he said.

Mbeki conveyed his condolences to the family and to Dube’s fans in South Africa and around the world.

The African National Congress (ANC) said it was ”deeply shocked and saddened by the brutal murder of music legend Lucky Dube”.

”The ANC condemns in the possible strongest terms, this barbaric and senseless killing by people who have no respect for life. We urge law-enforcement agencies to act promptly in hunting down these nefarious, ruthless criminals who have robbed the Dube family of a father and a son, and a musical icon of all times to South Africa, Africa and the world at large.”

It added: ”Through his music, Dube played a pivotal role in sensitising the world about the hardships faced by oppressed people in South Africa at the height of apartheid. His lyrics were a thorn on the side of the apartheid government which had put in place policies precisely designed to undermine the existence of black people and all those who denounced the regime.”

The Democratic Alliance said the country has been robbed of one of its most ”talented and patriotic musical ambassadors”.

”The circumstances surrounding his murder again illustrate that violent crime in South Africa is out of control, and that government’s remedies to address this scourge have failed,” said party spokesperson on arts and culture Desiree van der Walt. ”Lucky Dube did so much for our country, both as an artist and as a patriot. The best tribute to him and the amazing life he lived would be for government to intensify its fight against crime.” — Sapa