‘Lazarus’ in bid for liberty

2012-05-05 00:00

SIBUSISO John Gcabashe, who claimed to be the late maskandi artist Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo, tried to make a break for freedom at the Nquthu Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

He was brought into a packed court room in tears saying he was ill.

Barefoot, he sat in the accused’s dock quietly for few minutes before suddenly shouting, Naba laba, naba laba, naba laba! (“Here they are!”).

He leapt out of the dock and jumped over the witness box, making his way to the door leading to the magistrate’s chambers.

Taken by surprise, everyone in court stood up, wanting to see what was happening.

A team of police ran after him.

As they caught him he shouted, Ngiyekeni ngiyeni mina angizenzanga — “leave me alone, leave me alone. I did not bring this on myself”.

He was taken down to the police cells.

He was later brought back into the court room in handcuffs and leg irons.

Prosecutor advocate Phumlani Shandu apologised to the magistrate for the delay.

Legal aid attorney Senzo Mhlongo withdrew from the case, saying he had done so at the request of the family.

They said they had instructed a new attorney.

John Botha from Benoni appeared for Gcabashe and asked for copies of statements and the docket.

Dalincebo Khumalo, a relative of the late musician, told Weekend Witness the family had sold some cows to pay for the attorney.

“We felt that his rights were violated and we decided to hire a private attorney as he has spent more than 90 days in custody” said Khumalo.

Shandu told the court that investigations had been completed.

Botha denied that Gcabashe was trying to escape and said he had other problems that he would tell the court about later.

He said Gcabashe was ill and needed to see a doctor.

Botha said they would be applying for bail based on new facts.

Magistrate I. Sewparsad remanded Gcabashe in custody until May 22 for the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

After the court adjourned a war of words broke out between those who believe Gcabashe is indeed Khumalo risen from the dead and those who don’t.

Police took away one Khumalo’s wives, accused of disruptive behaviour, after a fight among the wives.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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