Back from the dead? Or living a lie?

2012-02-06 00:00

IT appears South Africa’s own “Lazarus” has not risen from the dead after all. Instead, he is in a police cell.

The man claiming to be the famous maskandi artist, Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo, who died in December 2009, was locked up yesterday as police investigate a charge of impersonation.

“He has been taken to the police station for questioning, but tomorrow we will have more information on him,” said police spokesperson Captain Jay Naicker.

Although there is speculation that the man is wanted for robbery in Johannesburg, Naicker said this was only a rumour.

Police had to use a water cannon yesterday to control the crowd who descended on the area to see what the man looked like.

Dressed in a floral shirt and buckskins, but without Mgqumeni’s trademark dreadlocks, the man had earlier greeted fans from the top of a police armoured car.

Over a loudspeaker, he described his “captivity” in Johannesburg’s Driefontein.

“I have been living a painful life over the past two years. The people who captured me shaved my dreadlocks because they wanted to put a nail in my head.

“They wanted to make me a zombie.”

At a press briefing later, he said his name had been changed. While speaking to uKhozi FM announcer Tshata Ngobe, he kept referring to him as “Bhuti Linda”.

Dumisani Goba, founder of the South African Traditional Music Awards (Satma) asked when last he had won the award.

The man did not answer and instead said: “My voice may sound different but it will take time.”

Fans were also surprised to see that he sported a gold tooth, which no one remembered the singer having.

“Seeing this big crowd made me happy,” he went on to say.

“It is very difficult for me to be killed for my talent by other musicians because no one will have the voice that I have.

“Only I, Mgqumeni, have it.”

He said his captors had changed his name to Sphamanda Gcabashe.

“They even organised an identity document for me.”

While Mgqumeni’s grandmother, Khaledumisa Mseleku, said on Saturday she believed the man was her grandson, others in the crowd did not.

“Why is he wearing the same clothes for a week?” asked Sthembile Sithole. “There is something fishy about this man.”

The Mseleku family, in whose grounds Mgqumeni is buried, did not want to comment, saying they were afraid “of being arrested” after the unconfirmed arrest of an uncle for allegedly commenting that “it’s not Mgqumeni”.

The results of fingerprint tests have not yet been released and the man is reportedly prepared to undergo DNA tests.

KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane asked that people should allow the police to complete their investigation without hindrance.

 

 

 

 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.