JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – South African reggae star Lucky Dube has been shot dead in front of his two children when robbers tried to hijack his car in Johannesburg, police said.
“He was in Rosettenville (a Johannesburg suburb) around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) last night (Thursday) apparently dropping off his child. The child had just gone off the car when unknown men approached him trying to hijack him. He was shot and he died on the scene,” police spokeswoman Captain Cheryl Engelbrecht told AFP.
The Star newspaper quoted a witness at the scene saying Dube tried to drive away but lost control after hitting another car and a tree.
The award-winning Dube, 43, was one of the first artists to introduce reggae music in the country, recording more than 20 albums in a career spanning more than two decades.
He has toured Europe and Africa and is the only South African artist to have a record signed to Motown Records, according to his website Luckydubemusic.com.
Fellow musician Mzwakhe Mbuli, one of the first people on the scene, said the music industry has been robbed of a legend.
“I am devastated … out of words,” Mbuli told AFP. “Lucky Dube’s music internationally was a great success story. He was a legend.”
“For me its cold blooded murder until investigation proves me otherwise. Crime is out of control. Where is this country heading to? We really need divine intervention,” he said.
Lucky Philip Dube was in August 1964. Giving birth to a boy was considered a blessing and his mother considered his birth so fortunate that she named him “Lucky”, according to his website.
He started his career in 1982 with the release of a mbaqanga (a Zulu music tradition) album before his transition to reggae in 1985.
South Africa is one of the world’s most crime-ridden countries, with nearly 20,000 murders recorded in the last year.
Engelbrecht said the hijackers were still at large.