Lucky Dube murder trial judge blasts advocate

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – Defence advocate in the Lucky Dube murder trail, Vuyo Jack, was on Tuesday warned against “irrelevant, time-wasting questions” by presiding Judge Seun Moshidi.

Moshidi lost his patience with Jack as he was cross-examining Thabo Maruping, a former accused, who turned state witness.

While testing Maruping’s testimony against the statements he gave to the police, Jack kept on asking about the state of Maruping’s relationship with his wife, herself a witness in the trail. Allegations of divorce between the two emerged during questioning.

The defence advocate is no stranger to reprimands by the judge. Earlier in the trial the advocate had been warned against what some termed “an insult to the witness, the prosecution and the police”.

Jack had, without any proof, accused Maruping’s wife of being "coached and advised on what to say" in her statement — a transgression Jack withdrew and apologised for to Judge Moshidi.

The judge has since said he is not "letting this matter rest”. And that he “will take it up after the trial because it is a very serious and unfair allegation".

On Tuesday Jack focussed his examination on finding contradictions in the police statement given by Maruping and his testimony. Maruping has since been offered indemnity from prosecution for his cooperation in the trial.

Maruping’s former co-accused Julius Gxowa, Sifiso Mhlanga and Mbuti Mabe, all in their thirties, are on trial for allegedly killing reggae star Dube outside his brother’s house in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg, on October 18 2007.

They 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. 
 

Proceedings will resume on Wednesday at the Johannesburg High Court.