Mourners pay final respects at Lucky Dube funeral

Thousands of fans of South Africa’s internationally acclaimed reggae star Lucky Dube paid their final respects at a funeral service on Sunday as they mourned his murder.

The service in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal was attended by Rastafarians and other fans from as far afield as Rwanda, Liberia and the United States, reported the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

The funeral procession was led by white-clad members of Dube’s Shembe faith, in accordance with which his body is to be covered in cow skin for burial in a private family ceremony.

Dube (43) was gunned down in an apparent botched hijacking in Johannesburg 10 days ago in front of his two children.

Tributes have been streaming in, describing the artist as an immortal legend of African music.

His killing has provoked widespread condemnation worldwide and renewed domestic calls for the restoration of the death penalty in a bid to stem one of the world’s highest murder rates.

Outrage

The killing of Dube has taken outrage over crime in the country to new levels.

Now prisoners serving time for violent crime have added their voices to the slew of politicians, artists and fans who have condemned his death.

Nearly 100 inmates of a prison near Pretoria in a petition decried Dube’s killing in a signed petition, according to the Sowetan newspaper on Friday.

“Though we are serving sentences for crimes similar to this one, we feel we have wronged our nation and there is no justification for this barbaric act,” the petition read. “This is our way of apologising to the community and a sign that we have changed.”

South Africans have been united in shock and grief over the killing of the 43-year-old star on October 18.

Dube’s 25-year career had seen him tour the world during the apartheid era and beyond with catchy tunes denouncing social injustice.

In latter years he had also pondered South Africa’s crime problem in his lyrics: about 52 people are murdered and 144 people report being raped each day in South Africa, making it one of the world’s most violent societies.—AFP, Sapa, dpa

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