Tokoloshes ‘Lazarus’ does about-turn

2012-06-19 00:00

“LAZARUS” did another about-turn in the Vryheid Regional Court yesterday and insisted once again that he was the late maskandi artist, Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo.

He had given evidence during his bail application in March under his real name, Sibusiso John Gcabashe.

Gcabashe, who claimed to have been attacked by tokoloshes while in police custody, is demanding a speedy trial to escape what he calls his tormentors.

He is charged with impersonation, perjury and attempted escape from police custody. “Lazarus” said he feels uncomfortable when called Gcabashe.

“I am Khulekani Kwakhe Khumalo, not Gcabashe, as they call me. I am the grandson of Gogo Masibiya. I grew up in Mpofane in the Mseleku homestead, but I am Khumalo. I am not mad and I know my real identity. They are giving me a false identity. No DNA test was done,” said Gcabashe.

“I am the only person that knows what happened in my life. I was kept with tokoloshes and everyone should understand that, as I am telling you, I am like this because of hard work and the muthi they gave me.”

He was referring to a period he had previously described during which he was kept in the veld in Gauteng by unknown people who made him work hard and eat mud and drink milk.

“I am Khumalo. I was not buried.”

Magistrate Sifiso Madida responded by saying: “Whoever you are, you will have to tell that story to your attorney, because he phoned me as they have arranged the date with the prosecutor.”

His attorney, John Botha, was not in court and prosecutor Debbie Symington said they had agreed to postpone the case.

The Khumalo family was unable to get into the packed courtroom, having arrived late.

Mgqumeni’s wives, Nomkhosi Mbatha and Zehlile Xulu, who dressed alike, were among the spectators who were eagerly awaiting Gcabashe’s appearance.

The case was adjourned to July 6, for the court to formalise charges and the defence to prepare its case.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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