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02 Feb 2009 16:27
A witness called to testify in the Lucky Dube murder trial in the Johannesburg High Court on Monday said she did not recognise the accused.
Melissa Mallworth was one of the people allegedly hijacked by the accused on the night of October 20 2007, a week after Dube was killed.
Mallworth—who was driving a green Volkswagen Polo Playa—said she pulled into the driveway of her Brackenhurst home at 11pm, and had climbed out of the car.
“I opened the gate, and I saw a blue Citi Golf pull out at the back of my car.”
Mallworth said two men approached her, took her keys and told her to lie down in the yard. She said her pockets were searched but the men did not find anything.
They then drove away with her cellphone, laptop and clothes.
Mallworth said she went to the Booysens police station after the hijacking and identified her car, but she could not remember the exact date.
“I don’t know how police recovered it,” she said.
Emerging from the cells, Sifiso Mhlanga, Julius Xowa and Mbuti Mabe, all in their thirties, covered their faces in an attempt not to be photographed. After lunch however, they no longer hid their faces and looked around the court room.
A translator was made available for Xowa who requested that proceedings be conducted in Portuguese, while Mhlanga and Mabe where addressed in Zulu.
State prosecutor advocate Mashiyane requested that Mallworth look at the three men in the dock and asked her if she knew them, to which she replied: “No”.
Earlier during the court proceedings, all three defence counsels contested the legality of an identity parade which was carried out after the men’s arrest.
The counsels said that the identity parade was conducted after the accused had appeared in a lower court, adding that witnesses had seen them.
They also said that the accused were not offered legal representation at the time.
A number of Dube’s relatives were present in the packed court room, including his younger brother. One of the relatives called the men dogs for killing Dube, but was warned not to insult the accused.
Dube was murdered outside his brother’s house in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg, on October 13 2007, in what was believed to have been a botched hijacking.
The accused have pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include three counts of hijacking, murder with aggravated circumstances, robbery and possession of two unlicensed firearms.
Mashiyane requested that the matter be adjourned to Tuesday in order to sort out the travelling expenses for witnesses.
Witness Siphiwe Mlaba was expected to give evidence on Tuesday. He was hijacked on October 20 2007. - Sapa
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