Lazarus: Has many names and a long criminal record

2012-03-15 00:00

SIBUSISO John Gcabashe, who claimed to be the late maskandi artist Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo, has lived by yet another name.

It emerged during his bail application yesterday that he was also known as Bhekani Sibusiso Dlamini when he had previous brushes with the law.

He is charged with impersonation.

Police informed the court that they were investigating other crimes he has allegedly committed, including rape and several cases of theft.

Gcabshe admitted in the Nquthu Magistrate’s Court that he had used the Dlamini identity when he was convicted in three different cases.

They were for theft in 2005 and 2006 in Wartburg and Inanda respectively and for perjury in 2007 at Naledi in Gauteng. He had received jail terms with the option of fines and suspended sentences.

Yesterday magistrate Mphumeleli Nkosi refused Gcabashe bail.

In the witness dock, he identified himself at the request of the court, saying: “I am Sbusiso John Gcabashe, from Maqongqo in Pietermaritzburg.”

However, when asked “Are you Mgqumeni?”, he declined to answer. This caused murmurings in the public gallery.

Gcabashe testified that he needed bail to support his nine children.

But he admitted under cross-examination by state prosecutor Sam Mphongose that he had no permanent job and lived on piecemeal jobs, driving taxis.

He claimed his family at Maqongqo, near Pietermaritzburg, were lying when they said they had last seen him in 2005.

Gcabashe was reluctant to give answers to certain questions, saying he would do so during the trial.

While in the dock he appeared to be looking at his cellphone and there were long delays between his answers. He was ordered to put it away.

Giving evidence for the state, investigating officer Eric Maphari said Gcabashe’s aunt at Magongqo had told him the family wanted nothing to do with him.

He testified that Gcabashe’s own mother, who stays in Hammarsdale with her daughter, said they did not want him released on bail because they feared for their lives.

“The community is against what he has done,” Maphari quoted her as saying.

He added that Gcabashe was a flight risk because he had visited Zimbabwe and Mozambique, but did not have a passport or a stable address.

He also mentioned that since his grand appearance in public, people were coming forward alleging they had been victims of crimes he had committed.

“When we asked why they did not open cases beforehand, they said they did not have his name,” said Maphari.

“Now we are investigating a docket from Ixopo of alleged rape, theft of cellphone and cash from Umlazi and a docket of theft from eKhombe in northern KwaZulu-Natal”.

At the start of the hearing the court was told that a psychiatric report had recommended that Gcabashe was fit to stand trial.

The case was postponed to April 13 pending further investigation.

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