Dube trial: Witness cross-examined on statement

A witness testifying in the Lucky Dube murder trial contradicted a previous statement given to police, the Johannesburg High Court heard on Wednesday.

Siphiwe Mlaba, allegedly hijacked by the three men accused of Dube’s murder, acknowledged that there was a difference between his statement given to police and his testimony in court.

When cross-examined about this by the defence, Mlaba said: “I did not know I would be required to repeat exactly what I said in the statement.”

He acknowledged there were some facts he had told the court that he had not included in his statement.

Defence for the accused said Mlaba had fabricated evidence to suit himself.

His police statement was, therefore, presented to the court as an exhibit.

Mlaba had pointed out the three accused—Julius Gxowa, Mbuti Mabe and Sifiso Mhlanga—at an identity parade on October 29 2007.

This was after he was hijacked of his Mercedes Benz C Class.

During the hijacking, Mlaba said he saw the three men approach him while he was waiting for a friend on Jules Street in Johannesburg.

When describing Mhlanga, who allegedly pointed a gun at his chest, he said the man was “short and dark”.

He said the other two accused, Gxowa and Mabe, got into the car while accused Mhlanga opened the door and grabbed him.

“I could see all of them because accused number one [Mhlanga] was the one talking to me. I was also able to see the two others in the car, because the interior lights of the car switch on when the doors are open,” said Mlaba.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, the court ruled that the evidence of the identity parade was admissible.

Judge Seun Moshidi said that he would explain this decision at the end of the trial when assessing the overall merits of the trial.

Gxowa, Mabe and Mhlanga, all in their thirties, are on trial for allegedly killing Dube outside his brother’s house in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg, on October 18 2007.

They face a charge of murder, two charges of aggravated robbery, one count of attempted aggravated robbery, and two counts of the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The trial continues on Thursday.—Sapa

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