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 Khumalo – 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.”