A lonely figure in the dock

2012-02-08 00:00

NOW charged with fraud and perjury, the man who claimed he was the dead maskandi artist Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo cut a pathetic figure in the dock at Nquthu Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Sphamandla Gcabashe (29) stood quietly as he faced magistrate Mphumeleli Nkosi, avoiding the gaze of those who had been permitted to enter the small courtroom.

Outside the court, the crowd swelled as the morning progressed, with curious onlookers who had come to see the fate of the man some believed was their beloved award-winning maskandi artist.

Police kept the crowds at bay, sealing the entrance to the court with police tape and only admitting close relatives and the press.

In sweltering heat the crowds waited for six hours to hear the outcome of the hearing.

Gcabashe arrived at court under heavy police guard and was chained with shackles.

He spent the morning in an office at the court house where he made a statement. Police at the entrance did not allow anyone near the office he was in.

The excitement around his appearance disrupted other court cases set down for the day.

Gcabashe, wearing an oversized jacket and breathing hard, opted to apply for legal aid. He appeared to be in a state of shock.

Prosecutor Sam Mphogose applied for a seven-day remand for Gcabashe to undergo mental observation and for further investigation, saying the state still needs the address of the accused and to gather information on his police profile.

Gcabashe’s legal aid representative said he would be applying for bail.

Mgqumeni’s widow, Nonhlanhla Majola, who had said she believed Gcabashe was indeed her husband, because of the marks he has on his body, sat in court with family members, quietly waiting for him to appear.

Sphamandla Mseleku, Mgqumeni’s uncle, said the whole experience had been painful for the family. He said he was arrested and assaulted by police at the weekend along with other family members for saying that Gcabashe was not their dead relative.

He said they were looking to the justice system to protect them, and were considering bringing charges against the police.

Gcabashe will be back in court on February 14 for a bail hearing and the report on his mental state.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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.


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.