Back from ‘ the dead’

‘ LATE ’ MUSO COMES HOME

Sunday World - - News - BON­GANI MTHETHWA

KWAZULU-NATAL po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a bizarre case – a man claim­ing to be dead multi-award win­ning maskandi (tra­di­tional Zulu folk mu­sic) artist Khulekani Kwakhe “Mgqumeni” Khu­malo.

Yes­ter­day, of­fi­cers con­ducted DNA tests and took fin­ger­prints of the 31-year old man.

Khu­malo had al­legedly died in De­cem­ber 2009.

Yes­ter­day pro­vin­cial po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant-colonel Vin­cent Mdunge said the re­sults of DNA tests would be re­leased on Tues­day.

“We have also taken his fin­ger­prints and hope to have the re­sults by to­mor­row,” he said.

The po­lice will then know whether to file a High Court ap­pli­ca­tion to ex­hume the body thought to be Khu­malo’s.

So­cial net­works have been flooded with spec­u­la­tion since the news broke on Thurs­day about Khu­malo’s shock ar­rival at his fam­ily’s homestead in Nquthu near New­cas­tle. By Fri­day the vil­lage was crowded with hys­ter­i­cal maskandi fans, some of whom had trav­elled more than 600km.

Over 20 armed po­lice of­fi­cers were dis­patched to Nquthu to han­dle the frenzy. They cre­ated a bar­ri­cade to force the crowd to gather 200m from the homestead.

A press con­fer­ence is planned that will be ad­dressed by rel­a­tives and the “risen Khu­malo”.

The man, who played his gui­tar and chat­ted to rel­a­tives in an iso­lated house on the homestead yes­ter­day, has been barred by his fam­ily from walk­ing about and chat­ting to the crowd.

Some of his rel­a­tives, who are still shocked, de­scribed how they al­most col­lapsed and how oth­ers ran away in fear when the artist sud­denly emerged at the homestead on Satur­day last week.

Khu­malo’s un­cle, Nkosingiphile (57) says he im­me­di­ately knew it was his nephew, even though he no longer had his trade­mark dread­locks.

“But ev­ery­thing else... we just knew it was him,” he says. “I per­son­ally have no doubt it is him ... he has all the fea­tures and scars that we know.

“We want the body ly­ing in that grave ex­humed to es­tab­lish who is buried there.”

Khu­malo’s bother Dal­ingcebo (40) says: Our fa­ther con­firms it’s

“def­i­nitely him.”

Yes­ter­day our sis­ter pa­per the Sun­day Times was given a few min­utes to in­ter­view Khu­malo”.

“He de­scribed the past two years of his life as “a mys­tery”.

“I don’t re­mem­ber much about what hap­pened to me,” he said.

He could only re­mem­ber los­ing con­scious­ness while in the com­pany of mem­bers of his maskandi group.

“I’ve been try­ing to re­mem­ber... but noth­ing comes to mind,” he said. “Peo­ple have told me I died and was buried... it was easy for peo­ple to be­lieve that be­cause I’d been sick for a very long time.”

The man al­leged to be Khu- malo – who had fa­thered 12 chil­dren and had two wives – said he re­gained con­scious­ness in a cave two weeks ago and sought help from peo­ple he knew in Joburg. The facts were very vague. Khu­malo’s girl­friend, Nonhlanhla Ma­jola, with whom he has a six-year-old daugh­ter, thought he was a “bad spirit”.

“I didn’t be­lieve it was him. I had to check his feet, neck and his smile to make sure,” she said.

The cou­ple now share a house on the homestead.

A mem­ber of Khu­malo’s band, Ngiga Ndlovu, said he hadn’t yet met the “risen Khu­malo”.

“I don’t be­lieve he is alive... I haven ’ t met him yet. I was with him when he died in Joburg,” said Ndlovu.

“He died in my hands and I was there when his body was taken to a mor­tu­ary in Ger­mis­ton (east­ern Joburg). I’m shocked. I will have to wait un­til the press con­fer­ence to see and ver­ify that it is him.”

Picture by Thembinkosi Dwayisa Picture by Munyadziwa Nemutudi

SUR­PRISE, SUR­PRISE! Maskandi artist Khulekani “Mgqumeni” Khu­malo has al­legedly re­turned to his home. In­sert: Mgqumeni be­fore his “death”.

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