Fake Mgqumeni is a thief!

IN THE DOCK: Sibusiso Gcabashe, who claims to be the  deceased musician Mgqumeni, appears in court. PHOTO: THULI DLAMINI
IN THE DOCK: Sibusiso Gcabashe, who claims to be the deceased musician Mgqumeni, appears in court. PHOTO: THULI DLAMINI

SIBUSISO Gcabashe, who recently claimed to be "Mgqumeni", is in fact a serial fraudster and a thief. He is also being investigated over a rape case

Gcabashe tricked many people in and outside South Africa into believing that he was the resurrected maskandi musician Khulekani "Mgqumeni" Khumalo.

But the Nquthu Magistrate's Court heard yesterday that he is a convict with three other pending cases against him.

Among the pending cases are rape, believed to have been committed in eXobho on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

He is also linked to two other cases, one of which is theft that happened in Inanda, north of Durban, and Umlazi, south of the city.

This was revealed by investigating officer Eric Maphari who testified against Gcabashe receiving bail.

Maphari said Gcabashe had three previous convictions, including theft, during which, he identified himself by various names and gave different residential addresses.

Gcabashe is set to face the full might of the law since he was declared fit to stand trial.

Prosecutor Sam Mpungose confirmed to the court that a psychiatric report from Fort Napier Mental Hospital, where Gcabashe's mental state was examined, revealed that the 28-year-old man from eMaqongqo in Pietermaritzburg was mentally fit to stand trial.

He is charged with fraud and perjury following his claims earlier this year that he was a resurrected musician, Mgqumeni, who died after a short illness in December 2009.

Mgqumeni was buried in January 2010 in Mpofana, a rural area in Nquthu, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

But the news of his resurrection from the dead turned the rural village of Nquthu into a media frenzy, making national and international news.

Gcabashe's claims attracted people from as far as Lesotho, Swaziland and across different provinces who flocked to Nquthu to get a glimpse of him and see for themselves that Mgqumeni had indeed returned from the dead.

During his first public appearance Gcabashe claimed that he had been held captive in a cave by a traditional healer who wanted to turn him into a zombie.

He also claimed, much to the disapproval or endorsement of some people, that he was forced to eat soil mixed with milk.

But he was later arrested after fingerprints showed that he was not Mgqumeni.