Chaos erupted at the Nquthu magistrate’s court when Sibusiso John Gcabashe, the man charged with fraud and perjury after impersonating dead KwaZulu-Natal maskandi artist

Sibusiso Gcabashe - fake Mgqumeni in court, tried to escape from court, but was captured before he could leave the courtroom. Picture: DOCTOR NGCOBO (

Mgqumeni, made a dash for freedom on Friday.

Moments after a tearful Gcabashe, 28, walked into a public gallery packed with family members of the late musician, Khulekani Kwakhe “Mgqumeni” Khumalo, he leaped from the accused box, jumped over the witness-box wall and dashed for the magistrate’s door, the only exit that had no police guard.

More than 10 police officers ran after him and held him down, while he screamed

“Ngiyekeni!” (leave me alone) and “Angizenzanga!” (I didn’t do this to myself).

Police handcuffed Gcabashe and shackled his ankles before court proceedings began.

State prosecutor Phumlani Shandu said police had completed their investigations, but owing to the uniqueness of the case, the court was awaiting a decision from the director of public prosecutions.

However, Gcabashe’s attorney, Johan Botha, said there was nothing unique about the case. Botha was hired by the late Mgqumeni’s paternal family – the Khumalos – who still believe that the musician has been “resurrected”.

Previously, Gcabashe was represented by legal aid board attorney Senzo Mhlongo.

“I am not even sure about the charges laid against my client. I don’t understand why this case is said to be unique.

“The next court date to be set should be for a formal bail application on new facts. My client said he is sick and wants to go to the doctor,” Botha said.

Earlier this year, Gcabashe made headlines after claiming to be Khumalo, who died in Joburg in December 2009.

He was buried in January 2010 in Mpofana, a rural area in Nquthu, in a high-profile funeral attended by politicians, radio personalities and scores of fans.

Two months ago, Gcabashe underwent psychiatric observation at Pietermaritzburg’s Fort Napier Hospital. Based on his psychiatric report, the court declared that Gcabashe was fit to stand trial and denied him bail.

Police are investigating three other criminal acts alleged to have been committed by him in KZN.

Speaking of the chaos in court caused by Gcabashe, Botha said he did not think he was trying to escape. Throughout his court appearance, Gcabashe had his head in his hands.

Magistrate I Sewparsad adjourned the case until May 22. Gcabashe will remain in custody.

Outside the court, the late singer’s uncle, Dalingcebo Khumalo, still maintained Gcabashe was one of their own and blamed witchcraft for the chaos in court.

Explaining the change of attorneys, he said the family felt that justice was not taking its course, because Gcabashe had been in custody for more than 90 days and the case was dragging on.

“We fully support him. As a family we saw it important to hire a private attorney to handle this case,” said Khumalo, adding that the family had had to sell some of its cattle to afford the attorney fees.

Meanwhile, some members of Mgqumeni’s maternal family – the Mselekus – claim to have received death threats, instructing them to stop denying that Gcabashe is the “resurrected” musician.




About The Author