Hopeful fans of a deceased South African musician are disappointed to learn today he was probably not alive the whole time in a cave with zombies.
Police said fingerprint analysis proves the man who created a big stir when he showed up claiming to be the late Zulu folk musician Khulekani “Mqgumeni” Khumalo is an imposter.
“Detectives conducting the inquiry were convinced that the matter required criminal investigation,” police in the eastern Kwazulu-Natal province said in a statement.
They arrested the man they believe is actually 28-year-old Sibusiso John Gcabashe on Sunday after thousands of people swarmed the late singer’s home village to catch a glimpse of him. Riot police were deployed to keep the crowd under control.
Witnesses told local media he claimed to be the victim of witchcraft and was held hostage in a cave with zombies since 2009 when Khumalo died.
The Independent Online news site reports that two of Khumalo’s wives and his grandmother believed the man was the famous singer, but a former girlfriend told police she didn’t buy it because he had a scar she had never seen before.
Police are holding Gcabashe on fraud charges. He was scheduled to appear in court today, but his bail hearing was postponed.
Gcabashe will now have to remain in jail until at least February 14, and Khumalo’s fans will have to wait until at least then to learn more about the case against the man claiming to be him. Police say the details of their investigation will come out in court.
Sifiso Khanyile in Johannesburg contributed to this report