The family of murdered South African reggae star Lucky Dube has welcomed the guilty verdict for his three killers.
A close family member told Billboard that they were hoping for the maximum sentence for Sfiso Mhlanga, Mbuti Mabe and Ludwa Julius Gxowa who were found guilty of shooting Dube dead in 2007. Sentencing is due on April 2.
The verdict was delivered late on March 31 in the Johannesburg High Court, to a round of applause from Dube's family members and supporters. The verdict came after Mhlanga and Mabe had attempted to escape as they arrived at the court. Both have now been transformed to a maximum security prison.
Dube was 43 when he died on Oct. 18, 2007 following an attempted car hijacking in a Johannesburg suburb.
Dube's son Thokozani, who was with his father on the night of the killing, has told local newspapers that the family is "happy" at the guilty verdict.
"What happened to uBaba [Dube] was really traumatic to all of us, but we are happy that his killers have been found guilty," he said. "We know they are being brought to book and we can now have closure."
The Gallo Music-signed reggae artist enjoyed one of the most successful music careers in the South African industry.
Over a catalog of 22 albums - primarily reggae but also including several recorded in the Mbaqanga traditional music genre - he became the country's most successful reggae artist to date. Dube enjoyed a vibrant international career that was built on a strong commitment to playing live.