Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 16:45 UK

Trio guilty of Lucky Dube killing

Lucky Dube (Photo: July 2005)
Lucky Dube recorded more than 20 albums in his career

A South African court has found three men guilty of shooting dead reggae star Lucky Dube in 2007.

Dube's family reportedly clapped as the verdict was read out in the Johannesburg High Court.

The 43-year-old was killed as the three stole his car in a Johannesburg suburb in a case which shocked the nation.

Two of the three had earlier tried to escape custody and appeared in court with bandaged heads after being restrained by the police.

Dube's son Thokozani, who witnessed his father's killing, told reporters at court: "What happened to uBaba [Dube] was really traumatic to all of us, but we are happy that his killers have been found guilty.

"We know they are being brought to book and we can now have closure."

He said he hoped they would get a "proper sentence", reports the Sapa news agency.

Security was increased in court after Sfiso Mhlanga and Mbuti Mabe tried to escape, allegedly using a brick to hit a police officer, who needed hospital treatment.

Their co-accused Julius Gxowa was also found guilty of the star's killing.

Death penalty

South Africa's best-selling reggae artist, Dube recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English and Afrikaans during his 25-year career.

Mourners at Lucky Dube's funeral
Lucky Dube's kiling shocked the nation

The court has heard the three men did not know the identity of their alleged victim until they read about it in the newspapers the following day.

The killing led to renewed domestic calls for the restoration of the death penalty in a bid to stem one of the world's highest murder rates.

The BBC's Mpho Lakaje in Johannesburg says South Africa's international image has been tarnished by its alarming crime levels.

Nearly 19,000 people were murdered last year, according to official statistics.

Millions of visitors are expected for next year's football World Cup.



SEE ALSO
Lucky Dube pair 'try to escape'
31 Mar 09 |  Africa
Lucky Dube: Your reaction
19 Oct 07 |  Have Your Say
Country profile: South Africa
05 Mar 09 |  Country profiles

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Billboard South African Reggae Star's Killers Get Life - 55 mins ago
Washington Post Three Men Get Life for Dube Murder - 58 mins ago
SABC Lucky Dube's family welcomes life sentences - 1 hr ago
Reuters Three men get life for murdering Lucky Dube - 3 hrs ago
CBC 3 convicted in murder of reggae star Lucky Dube - 23 hrs ago



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