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Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 13:14 UK

Lucky Dube pair 'try to escape'

Lucky Dube
Lucky Dube was an internationally recognised reggae star

Two of the men accused of murdering South African reggae star Lucky Dube have appeared in court with head wounds after a failed getaway attempt.

The duo had been injured in a scuffle with police - once more delaying the verdict at the Johannesburg High Court.

Sfiso Mhlanga and Mbuti Mabe allegedly assaulted a police officer with a brick during an escape bid as their prison van arrived at the court.

Dube's 2007 killing in a Johannesburg carjacking shocked the country.

The two appeared in the court with bloody swabs covering injuries on their heads.

As they were led to the dock, with their co-accused Julius Gxowa, a family member shouted that police should have dealt more severely with the pair while restraining them, reported Sapa news agency.


I suggest, in view of this development that security should be beefed up
Judge Seun Moshidi

More than 15 armed officers watched the accused from the aisle, along with a handful of prison officers and court officials.

The police officer allegedly attacked by the pair was taken to hospital for treatment.

Earlier, Judge Seun Moshidi said security should be stepped up in the courtroom.

"I suggest, in view of this development that security should be beefed up," he said, reported Sapa.

The judge began to deliver his lengthy verdict on Friday to a packed courtroom, including Dube's widow and son.

Dube was shot dead in front of his son and daughter in Rosettenville, a suburb south of central Johannesburg.

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

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.



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