Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo a loved South African Zulu folk musician died in 2009, in 2012 however, a man claiming to be him turned up at his family home, claiming that a witch doctor had kidnapped him and kept him in a cave with zombies.
At the time he made headlines and while Mgqumeni’s family, including two wives, said he was genuine, the police went through with a DNA test which showed the man to be lying.
At the time, thousands of fans had flocked to Mgqumeni’s house in KwaZulu-Natal in 2012 believing he had indeed been resurrected, police however said his fingerprints proved he was not the singer.
The man now known as Sibusiso Gcabashe was found guilty of a string of charges, including kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old woman. He has been convicted of rape, assault, kidnapping, attempted escape from lawful custody and impersonating Mgqumeni.
In the course of his trial, not surprisingly, the court had him undergo psychiatric evaluation but it was ascertained that he was fit to face justice. The magistrate who convicted Gcabashe said he didn’t show any remorse during the trial.
According to local reports, some members of Mgqumeni’s family who still seem convinced that he has returned from the dead said that they would appeal against the conviction in the High Court because they still believed Gcabashe was indeed their son.
The man had apparently sang one of Mgqumeni’s song as he was being escorted to the police cells, something that he had initially refused to do at the behest of fans when he first appeared, instead choosing at the time to recite his clan names. He has also said that he would compose music in prison, according to SABC news.
Belief in witchcraft is not especially uncommon in rural South Africa, but hopefully the impostor will face justice.