‘Lazarus’ hid ID in his pants

2013-05-10 00:00

THE identity document that identifies the man claiming to be a resurrected musician as Sibusiso John Gcabashe was found concealed under the three pairs of underpants he wore.

Gcabashe has claimed to be the award-winning Maskandi artist Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo, risen from the dead.

But when Major Maxwell Ngobeni of Nquthu police asked Gcabashe in February last year to strip for a medical examination, he spotted the ID book that told another story.

Ngobeni told the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court yesterday that Gcabashe was required to strip for a medical examination when he was sent to the district surgeon in Nquthu while in police custody.

“I was asked to take him to the doctor and he was asked to take off his clothes.

“He was asked to also take off his underwear. Surprisingly, he was wearing three pairs of underwear,” said Ngobeni.

He said that as Gcabashe was removing his underwear he noticed that there was something concealed underneath.

“I asked him what it was and [told him] he should give it to me. It was an ID book in a black plastic bag.

“When I opened it, it was his, with his full name and his picture,” said Ngobeni.

Gcabashe’s advocate, John Botha, did not cross-examine the policeman.

Another state witness, Sibongile Ngubane, of Diepkloof, Soweto, told the court that when Gcabashe arrived at her home, “he told me that he had escaped from his boss who wanted to use his body parts to enrich himself”.

She said Gcabashe told her that God had helped him. He said had been tapped on the shoulder and when he looked back, he saw a white horse and heard a voice saying he must run and not look back.

“He told me that he did not know where he was,” said Ngubane.

She said she was shocked by Gcabashe’s story and took pity on him. She took him to her mother and he told her the same story.

They collected R230 for him to return to Durban and he left.

Ngubane said that in January 2011, Gcabashe phoned and arrived at her home again, this time staying for two weeks.

She said that most of the time he was listening to Mgqumeni’s songs on his cellphone and he told them he was Mgqumeni’s cousin.

He said Mgqumeni would rise from the dead in two or three weeks, but she did not believe him.

Ngubane told the court that when she heard talk that the musician had been resurrected, she wanted to see who the man claiming to be Mgqumeni was. She travelled to Nquthu and saw that Gcabashe was claiming to be Mgqumeni.

As she was testifying, Gcabashe shook his head.

Thokozile Zondi, of Ixopo, told the court that she knows the accused as Sphamandla Gcabashe, who arrived at her home with a woman he claimed was his wife, Mfundo Mkhize, in November 2011.

He told her he had escaped death as his employer wanted to kill him.

She allowed them into her house for four days and neighbours came to see the strangers. They ended up donating R400 for the couple to go back to Nquthu.

Zondi said she was shocked to see Gcabashe in the newspaper claiming to be Mgqumeni.

Gcabashe will be back in court on July 19 when other state witnesses will give evidence.

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