‘They scared me and took my money’

2011-11-14 11:48

Eastern Cape gospel star Lusanda Mcinga made a brief appearance in the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court this morning. She faces charges of common assault, kidnapping and robbery.

Mcinga, who spent yesterday in jail, was released on R500 bail and her case was postponed to December 9.

The 47-year-old lead singer of the award-winning group Lusanda Spiritual Group was not asked to plead.

Police spokesperson for the area Captain Jackson Manatha said: “The arrest is related to an incident, on Friday, where a 25-year-old street vendor was kidnapped, beaten and robbed of an undisclosed amount of money. This guy was apparently selling CDs, but I’m no expert and cannot say whether these were fake or genuine.”

While earlier reports stated Mcinga was arrested for hijacking, Manatha had no knowledge of this.

The vendor, Mzoli Vusani, who operates from Bell Street in the small town’s CBD, told City Press he was abducted from his stall, forced into the boot of a Range Rover Mcinga was travelling in, and driven to a secluded bushy area near a Walter Sisulu University campus on the outskirts of town.

Upon arrival, one of the two men with Mcinga took out a knife and threatened to kill him unless “he spoke”. They wanted Vusani to tell them who supplied him with CDs.

“They kept on slapping me and saying I would tell them who my supplier was, but I kept telling them I buy these from Durban. After he took out the knife, I was sure I was going to die, especially when he kept hitting me (on the head) with the back of the knife,” says Vusani.

Vusani further alleges the group continued assaulting him, searched him and took about R2 000 he was going to use to pay rent. The group had also taken CDs the hawker was selling.

“What pains me the most is they scared me and took my money despite me telling them it was sent from home for me to pay rent.”

Mcinga is no stranger to confrontation with retailers. A similar incident occurred in 2007, where she opened a case of assault against three Chinese nationals, who ran a shop in Willowvale.

Mcinga could not immediately be reached for comment, while her recording company Gallo Music refused to comment.

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