Johannesburg - A South African man was jailed for 22 years for masquerading as the reincarnation of a Zulu singer, causing a sensation by turning up in his village and even sleeping with his young widow, an official said Wednesday.
Sibusiso Gcabashe, 33, posed as Khulekani Khumalo, who died in 2009, telling people the Zulu folk singer had fallen victim to witchcraft before being reincarnated.
"The accused was given an effective 22 years imprisonment for rape, kidnapping, assault, fraud and attempting to escape custody," the National Prosecution Authority's spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara told AFP.
Gcabashe turned up at the singer's rural home in 2012, sparking a frenzy.
Thousands of fans descended on Nqutu village in KwaZulu-Natal province to see their supposed idol.
In her judgement, the magistrate said that Gcabashe had "taken advantage of the young (widow) and... of her naivety," Ramkisson-Kara said.
The magistrate said that by representing himself as the dead singer, he had raised the hopes of a vulnerable family and put them through "emotional trauma".
Khumalo, often known as "Mgqumeni", sang maskandi, a genre of a Zulu folk music.