'Back from dead' musician in custody

2012-02-06 11:37

Durban - It appears South Africa’s own “Lazarus” has not risen from the dead after all. Instead, he is in a police cell.

The man claiming to be the famous maskandi artist, Khulekani 'Mgqumeni' Khumalo, who died in December 2009, was locked up on Sunday as police investigate a charge of impersonation.

“He has been taken to the police station for questioning, but tomorrow [Monday] we will have more information on him,” said police spokesperson Captain Jay Naicker.

Although there is speculation that the man is wanted for robbery in Johannesburg, Naicker said this was only a rumour.


Police had to use a water cannon on Sunday to control the crowd who descended on the area to see what the man looked like.

Dressed in a floral shirt and buckskins, but without Mgqumeni’s trademark dreadlocks, the man had earlier greeted fans from the top of a police armoured car.

Over a loudspeaker, he described his “captivity” in Johannesburg’s Driefontein.

“I have been living a painful life over the past two years. The people who captured me shaved my dreadlocks because they wanted to put a nail in my head.

“They wanted to make me a zombie.”

At a press briefing later, he said his name had been changed. While speaking to uKhozi FM announcer Tshata Ngobe, he kept referring to him as “Bhuti Linda”.

Dumisani Goba, founder of the South African Traditional Music Awards (Satma) asked when last he had won the award.

The man did not answer and instead said: “My voice may sound different but it will take time.”

Fans were also surprised to see that he sported a gold tooth, which no one remembered the singer having.

“Seeing this big crowd made me happy,” he went on to say.

“It is very difficult for me to be killed for my talent by other musicians because no one will have the voice that I have.

“Only I, Mgqumeni, have it.”

'Something fishy'

He said his captors had changed his name to Sphamanda Gcabashe.

“They even organised an identity document for me.”

While Mgqumeni’s grandmother, Khaledumisa Mseleku, said on Saturday she believed the man was her grandson, others in the crowd did not.

“Why is he wearing the same clothes for a week?” asked Sthembile Sithole. “There is something fishy about this man.”

The Mseleku family, in whose grounds Mgqumeni is buried, did not want to comment, saying they were afraid “of being arrested” after the unconfirmed arrest of an uncle for allegedly commenting that “it’s not Mgqumeni”.

The results of fingerprint tests have not yet been released and the man is reportedly prepared to undergo DNA tests.

KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane asked that people should allow the police to complete their investigation without hindrance.

  • KyleAssassin - 2012-02-06 11:51

    Oh well, at least this is funny.

      Wesley - 2012-02-06 17:55

      I am sure this is constestant for the dumb and dumber show

      Squeegee - 2012-02-06 20:07

      Wesley, the man or the crowd? Both?

      Sean - 2012-02-06 21:39

      @Squeegee- The crowd must be ``thicker`` than him , lol !! A ``thick bunch`` !

      Joe - 2012-02-07 01:07

      Give them another chance...

  • Michelle - 2012-02-06 11:58

    Beside this man being a raving lunatic, people are believing him AND he still gets access to a police armoured car to do a meet and greet - the mind boggles!!

      Hugh - 2012-02-06 18:45

      Well the same support the ANC. Why are we surprised?

      Sean - 2012-02-06 21:36

      Only is South Africa !! lol !

      Schmee - 2012-02-07 07:43

      This is just embarrassing, it makes South Africans look like a bunch of hillbillies.

  • John - 2012-02-06 11:59

    Only in Africa....

  • Zion - 2012-02-06 12:03

    You must give the guy some credit. How on earth can he get past the police, his "fans" and not forgetting his own family. and still getting a new ID document. It sure does take some getting used to.

  • Deeteem - 2012-02-06 12:04

    Oh how gullible the sheeple are !! Will follow a rock for a piece of chicken !!

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-02-06 12:08

    Lol this z hillarious, sum people have guts i tell ya.

  • sandile.madiba - 2012-02-06 12:11

    this must be one of the most absurd things i have ever come across! to top it all, it is how wildly people take into these sort of things, people are so gullible. people didn't even go to church to go and see this palooka! it goes to show that we are indeed living in the last days. people are desperate to believe anything to forget their mysery or rather to focus on correcting their own fallacies. This guy has sure become an overnight 'black jesus' and sold many newspapers, whilst at it. i smell a rat!

      sandile.madiba - 2012-02-06 14:50

      just read on Isolezwe that he apparently has been telling the same story to other people. he is a known taxi driver, who had shacked up with some guys in JHB. He claimed to have a home in DBN and longed to go home. not once did he mention ever having a home in Nquthu, where the late Mgqumeni is from. This guy needs a serious beating if not, he has to be examined and tossed into a looney bin...chancer!

  • Themba - 2012-02-06 12:17

    He was asked to sing one of his song, but instead he sung the backing part of the song, not the leading part,,it is sad how is that possible,,

  • Marion - 2012-02-06 12:18

    Hey this guy looks like the street hawker on my corner except he doesn't have a gold tooth !! This guy is one sandwich short of a picnic, one brick short of a wall, his lift doesn't go all the way to the top - and the one's who were tempted to go see him are not exactly the sharpest crayons in the box. Neither are his 'family' who are so keen to believe their dead son is actually alive they allowed this obvious imposter to deceive them in the worst possible way.

      Scouter - 2012-02-07 02:08

      I suspect 'his family' rather saw a gift horse when they saw the crowds flocking, than believing his claims.

      Philisiwe Msomi - 2012-02-07 06:50

      grandmother said it s him,''even the hands, feet it is mgqumei''translated!!

  • Morwa - 2012-02-06 12:19

    Be it true or not... why should the state waste money on this matter. Tax Payers need to mobilise and really stand up to say enough is enough how much of state resources are spent on these publicity stunts...??? This will only happen in our beloved South Africa... do we give the same attention and publicity and intervention to our fellow citizens who are to date living under poverty and unemployment to mention but a few??

      Marion - 2012-02-06 12:51

      @Morwa... the state does have to investigate because it involves fraud / identity theft etc.

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-06 12:20

    OMG...... whata chop, worse still is people believing him LMFAO

  • Myvision - 2012-02-06 12:30

    Mgqumeni for President

  • MastersVoice - 2012-02-06 12:32

    He's no different to our cabinet and its president, who are desperately attempting to impersonate real leaders...

  • Shawn - 2012-02-06 12:49

    News24 is reporting like the Daily Sun . . . crap story!

  • Mlungisi - 2012-02-06 13:17

    There we go again, too many speculations out there, the damn police must give us the DNA and fingerprint reports, if its fraud then arrest the bustard. In case its him the said Mgqumeni, case closed the guy will be a millionaire :)

  • Danie - 2012-02-06 13:26

    Hau! The magic is strong with this one.

  • bmaestro - 2012-02-06 13:56

    that would've worked maybe centuries ago-not in this time and age ,come on dude get yo dump black bottom off our faces n get a life.all this technology of the 21st century surely how can dis man do this.get the confused black man's a$$ to jail for impersonation i'm sure some bandits wanna chow on his bottom for being so stupidy n dumb

  • Khulekani - 2012-02-06 14:00

    this man is mentally disturbed like seriously.

  • obakeng.makale - 2012-02-06 14:32

    Who knows the full story,about this maskandi oak???

      Philisiwe Msomi - 2012-02-07 06:43

      da guy''MGQUMENI''maskandi singer,had long dreadlocks died in 2009 he ws sick for a while,he died on his way to a traditional healer.da new mgqumeni showed up 2weeks ago,claim he s MGQUMENI he never died bt he was l captured in da forest ,people who kept him wanted to turn hm to a ZOMBIE(tokoloshe)...grandmother n a girlfrend assured viewers on e-tv news dat dis is indeed mgqumeni

  • r.mashigo - 2012-02-06 14:45

    Never heard of this dude...but dang this story be funnnnnyy!

  • Stan - 2012-02-06 15:06

    this is quite funny... I just can't stop laughing

  • Josh - 2012-02-06 15:22

    By the way, I am John Lennon. I look younger and the gap is actually almost 30 years, but I was detained by Evangelists who kept me as a marshmallow. Those were hard times.

  • Gary - 2012-02-06 16:28

    Getting a jump on Easter in Johannesburg.

  • Rudolph - 2012-02-06 16:31

    I'm just relieved he made it out alive. He is one of three people now.

  • Duox - 2012-02-06 16:32

    mmmmm To Be honest - I believe him - the same thing happened to me. I used to be Micheal Jackson - my captors made me totaly white - also messed with my voice - and they did pit a nail in my head... thats why I can't dance any more. But it realy is still me. Eeeek!

  • Calvin - 2012-02-06 18:34

    yha, if the guys is fake... i would still admire him for his courage, a scammer indeed

  • Bokfan - 2012-02-06 20:26

    Poor Crazy Clown one hopes he can find sheltered employment. Hey. Doesnt the Yob League need a new president?

  • leslie.rabie - 2012-02-06 20:58


  • bright.ndlovu - 2012-02-06 21:28

    What an easy way of getting oneself into prison for nothing but stupidity.

  • tshinanne - 2012-02-06 21:58

    I don't know if it's drugs he's taking or drugs he should be taking.

  • Lephutsi - 2012-02-06 22:45

    Lock that psychopath in mental hospital and throw the keys away.

  • Brent - 2012-02-06 23:36

    Did he also get an F in woodwork

  • Ouklip - 2012-02-07 00:32

    It was the annual news out of SA on the USA radio shows.

  • Cristina - 2012-02-07 05:41

    Oh please......longgg sigh..

  • brionyl.french - 2012-02-07 06:23

    Lol, and this is in the news why?

  • Silvana - 2012-02-07 06:32

    Sounds like an episode from ScooBeeDoo.

  • Frank - 2012-02-07 07:08

    The new leader of ANCYL he has all the qualifications,and a gold tooth, thats class for you.

  • kmphasha - 2012-02-07 07:41

    TIA (This Is Africa) continent full of possibilities. New book of miracles

  • The-third - 2012-02-07 07:41

    Gotta love it. People will try anything for 15 minutes in the sunshine.

  • Yuri - 2012-02-07 08:41

    LOL...who needs South Park when you have this...only in SA

  • Rudie - 2012-02-07 08:48

    Ag damn there i was thinking its Elvis.

  • mpumy.mjadu - 2012-02-07 10:23

    Give that ma a bells! hohohoho this is very funny n dumb too.......Eish but it's too sad for the family,jstto be be reminded of ur lost loved one like this, not ayoba really :-(...

  • mpumy.mjadu - 2012-02-07 10:49


  • margaret.mead1 - 2012-02-07 13:24

    This is bizarre Africa at its best (or worst). I think this guy's got a screw loose. I can't understand his actions at all. I feel sorry for the family of the deceased man. This must be very hard for them.

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