Fingerprints showed ‘Lazarus’ lied, ‘but we let public judge for themselves’

2014-02-18 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court heard yesterday that police received the results of fingerprint tests on the day “Lazarus” Sibusiso John Gcabashe was revealed to scores of inquisitive members of the public and the media, posing as the dead maskandi artist Khulekani Mgqumeni.

The commander of the criminal record centre in Nquthu, Captain Philip Ferreira, told the court that he had received a call while at Esiqhumeni on February 5, 2012 relaying information that proved that the man impersonating Mgqumeni was Gcabashe.

“About 30 000 people and members of the media were there to see this man. I received the call about the results of fingerprints and they confirmed he was Gcabashe, not Mseleku [Mgqumeni],” said Ferreira.

“At the time I could not tell anyone because that could have resulted in a riot if we removed him at the time.”

They allowed the public to judge for themselves. Later Gcabashe was taken to the police station in a Nyala.

“At the police station he was sitting in the Nyala and I came from the back and [called out to him with the words] ‘Sibusiso John Gcabashe’. He turned to look straight to me,” said Ferreira.

He was giving evidence on behalf of the state and furnished the court with fingerprints of the accused and those of the late maskandi artist.

Comparing the fingerprints, he said, “It is clear that these fingerprints are completely different from the ones of Mgqumeni. No two people have the same fingerprints. There is no doubt in my mind that he is Sibusiso John Gcabashe, not Khulekani Kwakhe Mseleku,” said Ferreira.

The accused’s attorney, John Botha, asked for an adjournment to consult with the accused, saying that the documents handed in by Ferreira were new to him.

Gcabashe is charged with three counts of theft allegedly committed in Durban, kidnapping, assault and rape allegedly committed at Ixopo, fraud and an attempted escape from custody at Nquthu.

Before Ferreira testified, David Mthethwa, who is a member of the Shembe religion, testified that Gcabashe had come to his home asking for his help.

“He had asked my neighbour to show him a house of a Shembe follower and they took him to my house where he asked me for money.”

He said he had no money on that day and they slept at his place that night. He was told by Gcabashe that a hitman was looking for him as his [Gcabashe’s] father and mother had been killed and some of their body parts were removed for witchcraft.

Mthethwa said he took Gcabashe to his church leader the following morning. “They did not have money at church and I was asked to make a loan and give him money, which I did and I gave him R210 for transport so he could return to his home.”

He later phoned saying he had arrived safely at home. But a few months later, he came back with his “wife”.

“They stayed for four days and Gcabashe left her at my house. That’s when I found out that she was not his wife but a girl kidnapped from Ixopo,” said Mthethwa.

Magistrate Rose Mogwera allowed Gcabashe to consult with his attorney and the matter will continue today.

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