Dube’s death made local and international headlines; former president Thabo Mbeki condemned the killing; and there was a manhunt for the killers, but that did not stop Sfiso Mhlanga, Ludwe Gxowa and Mbuti Mabe from allegedly hijacking a Mercedes two days later.
Their victim, Siphiwe Mlamba, told the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday how Mhlanga held a gun to his chest while yanking him off the seat.
Mhlanga grabbed him by his clothes and put a gun against his chest, Mlamba said. "He tried to pull me out of the car and I told him my safety belt was still on."
Mabe said he then released the safety belt. Mhlanga held a gun to his chest and searched him with the other hand. After being shown where the car keys, wallet and cellphone were, Mhlanga walked back to the car, but turned back and said to Mlamba: "Do you want to take a chance," Mabe said.
"I did not respond and he pointed a gun towards my lower body as if he wanted to shoot me in the thighs. Then he went back to the car, started it and drove off," Mlamba testified.
During cross-examination, the defence counsel said they were concerned that Mlamba was able to identify them during the identification parade because he had seen them in court.
Judge Seun Moshidi ruled that a trial-within-a-trial be held to determine the admissibility of the evidence in connection with the parade.
Mlamba testified that he was not in court on October 23 when the trio appeared for the first time. He said he had never seen them in newspapers, TV or after the hijacking. He claimed to have only seen them again at the identity parade.
The trial continues on Friday.