Impersonator (Gcabashe) was after the money

Sibusiso Lazarus Gcabashe in the dock of the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court, ahead of his appearance, is accused of masquerading as the late maskandi artist Khulekani Mgqumeni Khumalo. Picture: Sherlissa Peters

Durban – The widow of the late maskandi artist Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khumalo on Tuesday testified against the man accused of masquerading as her husband, saying he was after the musician’s money.

Sibusiso “Lazarus” Gcabashe, who claimed last year that he had risen from the dead, is on trial in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on charges of fraud, kidnapping, assault, rape, theft and attempting to escape from custody.

He was declared mentally fit to stand trial after psychological evaluation by the State and has pleaded not guilty to all charges, saying he knew nothing about the allegations against him.

Taking the stand on Tuesday, Nozipho Xulu said she was the second wife of Khumalo and had an 11-year old son with the award-winning singer.

She said Khumalo had fallen ill in 2008, died on December 19, 2009, and was buried in Nqutu nine days later.

“Then I saw on the news in February last year that my husband had risen from the dead and was living with the Khumalo family,” Xulu said.

She said she immediately went to the Khumalo homestead to inquire about this person who was allegedly her dead husband. That, Xulu said, was the first time she had met Gcabashe.

“I knew that this was not my husband. “He did not have any of the identifying features of Mgqumeni,” she said. Xulu said her husband had peculiar feet and had several scars on his body, but Gcabashe had none of these.

“He told me that he will not force me to believe that he is my husband, but he said that in time I would accept him,” said Xulu.

She said that when she asked Gcabashe where he had been since Mgqumeni died in 2009, he told her he had been living in a cave with animals who instructed him to buy cotton to sew his tongue so that he could not speak.

“I believe he (Gcabashe) is doing this because he wants to claim my husband’s money,” said Xulu. She said it had been difficult for her family.

“When a person dies, we need to forget the pain and move on. Because of Gcabashe, the pain started all over again.”

Gcabashe, who is from Magqongqo, was arrested last year after he claimed to be Khumalo, causing a sensation in the Nqutu Magistrate’s Court where he first appeared after being arrested for fraud last year.

On Tuesday, dressed in a bright sweater and sporting dreadlocks, like Khumalo, Gcabashe appeared upbeat as he greeted people seated in the packed court gallery.

In November 2011, he allegedly kidnapped, assaulted and raped a teenager at Ixopo.

He is also alleged to have stolen three cellphones and attempted to escape from police custody at the Nqutu Magistrate’s Court he trial was to continue on Wednesday.

Daily News  –