Dube trial hears of firearms found in accused's room

A police officer investigating the murder of reggae star Lucky Dube told the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday that he found two unlicensed firearms in the room of one of the accused.

“I found a firearm under a bed on the floor. The 9mm Glock pistol, black in colour, had a magazine and two rounds of ammunition,” said Inspector Ernest Dlamini.

Dlamini said he continued to search Sifiso Mhlanga’s room and found a 9mm CZ pistol with a magazine, behind a speaker situated at the left corner of the room. The serial numbers of both firearms had been erased.

The two firearms, ammunition and two magazines were presented to court as evidence by the state.

Asked by state advocate Lethabo Mashiyane if those firearms were the same ones he found in Mhlanga’s room, Dlamini answered: “Yes, I recognise them because of the filed serial numbers and the guns are also filed off towards the right.”

Julius Gxowa, Mbuti 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.

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

On Wednesday, Dlamini corroborated an earlier version from previous witnesses that police jumped over a gate of a house in Vosloorus, where Mhlanga and Gxowa were tenants.

He also confirmed that there was a black Mercedes Benz—allegedly hijacked by the accused—in the yard.

He and another investigator, Captain Wiseman Siphungu, were the only two officers who approached Mhlanga’s room while the others dispersed around the yard.

He told the court that Mhlanga, who was with his girlfriend in the room, was the one who opened the door when they knocked.

Mhlanga claims that he was assaulted by police during his arrest and as a result sustained an open wound on his head.

“I did not see him being assaulted and I never saw him bleed,” said Dlamini.

Earlier, the court heard how a firefighter had to break the rear right window of Dube’s car in order to gain access.

“All the doors of the vehicle were locked when we arrived. A firefighter then broke the window open, and opened the door,” said Derick Siebert, a tow-truck driver who was among the first to arrive at the scene.

Siebert told the court that Dube was already dead when he arrived.

“He was sitting in the driver’s seat, lying on his side.”

Two shots that killed Dube first penetrated through the back of the driver’s seat before killing him. One of the bullets was found underneath the car seat. It was lodged under the car mat.—Sapa

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