‘Lazarus’ is a sweet-talking Durban taxi driver, says benefactor

2012-02-07 00:00

THE show goes on in the Nquthu area.

But today the stage for South Africa’s own “Lazarus” is the town’s court, where he will appear following his arrest on Sunday.

Police took the man in for questioning at the weekend on suspicion of fraud after he claimed to be the late Maskandi musician, Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo.

Provincial spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said senior detectives were “convinced that the matter required criminal investigation”.

“A docket was registered at Dundee SAPS where the man is currently in custody pending the criminal investigation.”

“Lazarus” has meanwhile remained a hot topic among people who are fascinated by his claims.

Phelelani Zondi of Johannesburg said he knew him as someone called Sphamandla, whom he had helped with cash to travel home to KwaZulu-Natal.

“I took him home with me after he told me that he was on the run following his escape from a group of men who wanted to use his body parts for witchcraft. I managed to get R200 for him,” said Zondi.

“We went to the station where he was supposed to take a taxi back to KwaZulu-Natal, but he disappeared after some of the drivers said he was a taxi driver they knew from Durban.

“I was surprised when seeing his picture in the media over the weekend, I know him as Sphamandla from Umlazi.”

Zondi said Sphamandla was a sweet talker who charmed people into believing every word he said.

Dalincebo Khumalo, the late musician’s uncle, told The Witness yesterday afternoon that the family had asked the police to keep him for his safety.

“We have been in the Nquthu charge office from 9 am waiting to see him.

“We have been told he was taken to a psychiatrist by a team of detectives from Durban who are investigating why he calls himself Mgqumeni and to find whether he is mentally okay,” said Khumalo.

He is still convinced that the man is from their family.

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