Dube detectives give conflicting testimony

Contradictory versions by two detectives of how two of the men accused of murdering reggae star Lucky Dube were arrested were heard in the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday.

Both police officers, stationed at the Booysens police station, were part of a team that raided the residence of the accused, Sfiso Mhlanga and Julius Gxowa, on October 21 2007.

Constable Bongani Khumalo said when arresting Gxowa, he heard his colleague Constable Vusi Dlamini explain to the accused his constitutional rights and also the reasons for his arrest.

“I was next to him in accused number two’s room when he did it,” said Khumalo.

However, earlier Dlamini testified that he never explained accused number one’s constitutional rights to him. He said it was possible someone else had done so.

Khumalo confirmed that there were some keys belonging to a Mercedes Benz, allegedly hijacked from a witness, in Gxowa’s room.

He said the keys were next to Gxowa’s mattress, where he had been sleeping.

The hijacked man, Siphiwe Mlaba, positively identified all three accused—Julius Gxowa, Sfiso Mhlanga, and Buti Mabe—as having hijacked him on October 20 last year.

Defence counsel Mpho Milubi said his client would testify that he did not see any keys in his room on the day of his arrest, and that he never told Dlamini that those keys belonged to his friend.

It also came to light on Thursday that two firearms were found on the premises where the men lived.

Gxowa and Mhlanga were tenants in Vosloorus on the East Rand.

The trial continues on Friday.—Sapa

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